20 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Seoul — A Citizens’ Jury convened in July to determine the future of two reactor projects in South Korea has concluded that construction of Shin Kori units 5 and 6 should continue. South Korea’s President Moon has said he will respect the decision of the jury.
The Citizens’ Jury voted strongly in favour of the resumption of construction of Shin Kori units 5 and 6, with 59.5% voting in favour.
World Nuclear Association Director General Agneta Rising said, “This is a very positive decision for South Korea. It will enable the South Korean nuclear sector to get on with reducing climate emissions and supporting national industrial competitiveness.”
The development of nuclear energy in South Korea has played a vital role in the country’s transformation into an export-oriented technology economy. The country boasts a fully mature nuclear industry and its domestically built nuclear plants now provide some of the lowest-cost electricity on the grid. The country has also successfully exported its reactor technology, the APR 1400, to the UAE and is competing to win further international contracts.
Upon being elected President Moon announced that he would allow no more planned nuclear plants to be built and that he would limit the operation of existing nuclear plants to just 40 years2. He also called for an end to reliance on coal power and announced a transition to a gas and renewables powered economy. This announcement was made without local business or expert consultation and it is increasingly clear that the policy is not environmentally sound or economically viable3.
Rising continued “We hope that going forward the country’s political leaders will commit to comprehensive consultation processes and listen to its energy, environment and economics experts in order to evaluate the country’s energy policy. Nuclear energy should play a leading role as part of a resilient and clean electricity generation mix that reduces South Korea’s dependence on fossil fuels.”