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‘Korea needs nuclear power plants,’ says U.S. climate policy expert

‘Korea needs nuclear power plants,’ says U.S. climate policy expert

Posted October. 13, 2017 07:36,   

Updated October. 13, 2017 09:21

"Korea is one of the few countries that have the ability to build cost-effective and safe nuclear power plants. The country needs nuclear power plants so that it can keep its promise of greenhouse gas emissions reductions."

Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment" and founder of the pro-nuclear NGO "Environmental Progress," had a press conference Thursday at the Korea Chamber of Commerce, and stressed the safety of nuclear power plant.

"People fail to see the fact clearly due to excessive fear of nuclear power plants. We need to make judgment on the basis of scientific facts," he said. The environmental policy expert has claimed that Korea needs nuclear power plants, while expressing his opposition to the Korean government's nuclear power phase-out policy. His visit to Korea this time is to appeal to Korean citizens to make an objective judgment at a deliberative opinion poll scheduled to start from Friday.

A former anti-nuclear activist who worked for Green Peace, he has become an outspoken advocate for using nuclear energy, putting the emphasis on the environmental impact of nuclear power.

He went on to say that we need to consider how new renewable energies destroy the environment. "Wind and solar power plants require 35 times and 17 times larger land, respectively, than what nuclear power plants require. We will have to give up on forests and trees in order to build solar power plants," he said. "Kenya is considering buying nuclear plants from Russia after the Korean government announced its nuclear power phase-out policy, which is undermining Korea's competitiveness in the market."

Gun-Huk Lee gun@donga.com