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Number of reactors to drop to 14 by 2038

Posted October. 25, 2017 08:00,   

Updated October. 25, 2017 08:18


The government will gradually phase out nuclear power to reduce the number of nuclear reactors to 14 in 2038 from current 24. Instead, the government will increase the ratio of renewable energy in power generation.

At a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday, the government discussed and confirmed follow-up measures to resume the construction of the Shin Kori No. 5 and No. 6 nuclear reactors and the energy transition roadmap.

According to this roadmap on energy transformation policies, the government has decided to gradually phase out nuclear power by scrapping plans to build six new units. The country’s 14 aged reactors will also be shut down without extending their lifespan. Based on the new decision, the number of nuclear reactors will continue to rise to 28 by 2022 but begin dropping to 18 in 2031, and 14 in 2038.

The Wolsong No. 1 unit whose designed life expires in November 2022 will be early closed while the precise timing of decommissioning will be later set considering issues such as the handling of spent nuclear fuel. Also, the safety of reactors will be greatly strengthened by June 2018 so that all nuclear plants will be able to withstand a quake stronger than 7.0 magnitude. As of now, all existing reactors are designed to resist a 6.5 magnitude earthquake.

“It was a meaningful achievement that the decision-making process of the the public debate commission confirmed citizens’ opinions on the government’s push for nuclear-free, coal-free energy policies and the expansion of renewable energy,” President Moon said.

Meanwhile, the government officially confirmed the resumption of construction of Shin Kori No. 5 and No. 6 reactors in accordance with the commission’s recommendation. Construction work will first resume on Wednesday from the outside general facilities, which do not require the approval from the National Safety and Security Commission.

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