“Global electricity demand in 2050 will be 2.7 times the current level. For Korea, which has seen per-capacity power consumption grow at the fastest pace in the world, to escape from nuclear energy is not a ‘viable alternative.’ Korea will end up paying hefty price due to electricity supply shortages that the country can hardly afford to pay,” said Dr. Chang Yoon-il at a KAIST special seminar on "The Current Situation and Outlook of Global Nuclear Energy” on Friday.
As an expert with over 40 years of experience in advanced reactor and innovative fuel cycle technology development and demonstration, the Argonne Distinguished Fellow is also serving as an invited visiting professor after retiring U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, which he joined in 1974. He is also the winner of the Department of Energy's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1994
Dr. Chang also stressed that escape from nuclear energy is not in line with the international trend, saying that more than 100 nuclear power plants will be constructed in 34 countries over the next 10 years.
“Some 20 countries that don’t possess nuclear power plants including Saudi Arabia and Vietnam are also considering construction of nuclear power plants, and the world will thus embrace Nuclear Renaissance soon,” he said. "Nuclear energy is the most economical among various energy sources currently available, and is the only source of energy that does not produce air pollutants or greenhouse gas."
Dr. Chang also said that if Korea continues to push ahead with its policy to escape from nuclear energy despite its most advanced nuclear technology, the country will inevitably come to lag behind in the global energy market. He said that President Moon Jae-in’s "nuclear energy sales diplomacy" at meetings with global leaders while currently implementing the policy to exit from nuclear energy in the country, is inconsistent at best, since Moon effectively gives the message “We are ending nuclear energy but you have it.”
“Korea will lose the market to China, Russia and India, which are aggressively engaged in a nuclear energy sales campaign at the national level,” Dr. Chang said.