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Government to Give 300 Billion Won to Region Hosting Nuclear Waste Facility

Government to Give 300 Billion Won to Region Hosting Nuclear Waste Facility

Posted January. 25, 2005 22:58,   


It has been decided that a local government which hosts a medium- or high-level radioactive waste facility (nuclear waste facility) will receive 300 billion won in special assistance at the very start of its construction.

In addition, the local government will be allowed to collect charges according to the amount of waste coming to the facility.

The government convened a Cabinet meeting on January 25 and decided to legislate a special law on assistance to regions which host medium-and high-level radioactive waste facilities, which stipulates the above-mentioned measures.

In the process of selecting a nuclear waste facility site, local governments had requested the government make its assistance plan clear by a special, and the government accepted the request by drawing up the bill.

Notably, the bill makes sure that the assistance amount includes the 300 billion won of originally planned amount by the government, and extra charges for wastes carried into the facility, which is considered as a possible attraction for local governments which wanted to avoid hosting such a facility.

The bill prevents hosting of additional facilities for high-level radioactive waste like nuclear fuel waste by ensuring that the nuclear waste facility is for medium-and high-level radioactive waste.

Furthermore, the bill states the source of the assistance funds, which enables the government to pay the host region 300 billion won (tentatively) in special assistance in stages from the start of construction, which is an early phase of the project.

Also, the bill allows the local government to collect a certain amount of annual charges according to the amount of waste carried into the facility, which is aimed at constantly supporting the region during the maintenance stages of the nuclear waste facility. The amount and ways of assistance will be decided in the form of an enforcement ordinance after consultation among related government departments.

Local governments will have discretion to use income from the special assistance and charges for regional development by classifying it as a special account.

The government is planning to establish a government-wide support system by installing a supporting committee with the prime minister as the chairperson, and heads of related central administrative bodies and the local the government as members, in the hosting region.

The government will introduce the bill to a special session of the National Assembly next month and announce the process to select a nuclear waste dumpsite as soon as the National Assembly legislates the bill.

Cho Seok, head of the Nuclear Power Project Planning Group of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, explained that the bill greatly increased the possibility that local citizens would accept the hosting of nuclear waste facility in their district by demonstrating the strong determination of the government to support the hosting region.

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com