South Korea moves away from nuclear power, coal
24 June, 2017
In a bid to fulfil his campaign pledge to abandon nuclear energy, South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in said last Monday his government will ditch plans to build new nuclear reactors and instead embrace renewable sources. He also declared that the government would not seek to extend the life of existing plants.
“We will dump our atomic-centric power supply and open the door to the post-nuclear era,” Moon said in a speech marking the decommissioning of the country's first nuclear reactor, the Kori-1. “I will scrap all preparations to build new reactors currently underway,” he said adding that many of the country's reactors are located close to residential areas.
The move marks a serious policy shift as South Korea currently operates 25 nuclear reactors, which generate about a third of the country's power supply. Many of them will see their lifespans expire between 2020 and 2030. Moon also vowed to cut South Korea's reliance on coal. Seoul plans to shut 10 old coal power plants and stop building new ones.