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President Yoon vows to rebuild nuclear power industry

Posted June. 23, 2022 07:45,   

Updated June. 23, 2022 07:45


President Yoon Suk-yeol criticized the former Moon Jae-in administration’s strategy of nuclear exit on Wednesday, saying, “South Korea’s nuclear power industry would have been unmatched by competitors had the former administration firmly established a nuclear energy ecosystem in the past five years instead of being foolishly ignorant.”

On his visit to Doosan Enerbility, a nuclear power plant infrastructure manufacturing company located in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, President Yoon promised to rebuild the country’s nuclear energy industry, which is currently on the verge of annihilation due to incompetent policies of the former government in the past few years. The incumbent president’s visit to a nuclear power industry field is unprecedented. President Yoon visited a nuclear power plant factory in Changwon back in April when he was a president-elect.

President Yoon toured nuclear power plant facilities in the Doosan Enerbility premise, where the Nos. 3 and 4 Shin-Hanul nuclear reactors and casting materials, the construction of which is currently at halt, and the No. 6 Shin-Gori nuclear reactor head are located. “If the officials who pursued nuclear exit had witnessed a giant facility that is bigger than the size of Yeouido and understood the industry ecosystem and the field, would they have still decided to phase out nuclear power plants? I highly doubt,” said President Yoon. “I will do my best to campaign for South Korea’s nuclear energy capabilities when meeting with foreign heads of states.”

With regard to the rebuilding of the Nos. 3 and 4 Shin-Hanul nuclear reactors, which he promised during presidential campaign, President Yoon said that he would make sure legal procedures and standards are being met, and at the same time, minimize the time consumed to make the rebuilding project efficiently performed.

“The current situation cannot be resolved by just serving more water and nutrients. Our nuclear power industry is on the verge of annihilation, and its survival is barely guaranteed even if we provide overflowing support,” said Yoon. “Korea’s nuclear energy industry is like a warzone, where it has been ruined after a ‘nuclear energy phase-out’ bomb exploded.”

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced measures to support nuclear power industry entities and subsidiaries, which include emergency contracts worth 92.5 billion won this year, winning new contracts worth more than one trillion won by 2025, and provide financial support of 380 billion won and make technology investment of 670 billion won.

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com · Gun-Huk Lee gun@donga.com