South Korea is to abandon atomic energy in favour of renewable sources in the latest blow to the international nuclear industry since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s left-leaning president, said that safety was the biggest reason for the change. The country’s 25 nuclear reactors will be taken off line as they reach the end of their working lives and new construction will be suspended. As the world’s fifth largest generator of nuclear electricity, South Korea surpasses even Germany, which announced its own phase-out in 2011. Its reactors generate 30 per cent of the country’s electricity. Mr Moon, who was elected last month after ten years of conservative government, also said that power from coal-fired stations would be phased out and that two new nuclear reactors under construction may be stopped. Mr Moon’s government promised to promote and invest in renewable technologies and to replace coal-fired stations with ones consuming less polluting, but more expensive, natural gas. South Korea has no fuel deposits and must import oil and gas.
Times 20th June 2017 read more »
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The announcement could have international significance as South Korea counts as one of the top producers of nuclear power in the world and had been looking to export its technology and expertise – most recently to the United Kingdom.
Energydesk 19th June 2017 read more »