If President Moon Jae-in’s actions are any indication, the days of nuclear power in the Republic of Korea may be numbered.
The president has said no new plants will be built, and the lifespan of existing plants won’t be extended.
CGTN’s Shane Hahm joins us from Seoul.
Follow Shane Hahm on Twitter @ShaneHahm
“This new administration will phase out nuclear energy and, at the same time, open a new era of future energy. It will actively nurture a clean and safe energy industry, including new and renewable energy and liquefied natural gas generation,” the president said.
The president decommissioned the country’s oldest nuclear reactor after it reached the end of its 40-year lifespan. It will take another 15 years and more than half a billion dollars to completely dismantle it, according to the nation’s energy ministry. The president has also ordered crews to suspend work on two other reactors currently being built pending further review.
Two dozen nuclear reactors currently supply about a third of South Korea’s total electricity. Nuclear power has played a vital role in the country’s economic development. Even so, the plan is to increase the use of renewable energy sources to supply up to 20-percent of the nation’s energy needs by 2030.
Experts have said consumers will inevitably face higher electricity costs while the country transitions to other energy sources.