We Welcome the Start of Energy Transition to Nuclear-Free Korea
- We anticipate immediate governmental measures actualising President Moon’s announcement of the nuclear-free Korea policy
- Construction of the Shin Kori Nuclear Power Plant 5 and 6 should be immediately suspended to reach a smooth social consensus
- Preparing measures for the locals who have been victimised by the nuclear power plants is also critical
South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended the event on 19 June celebrating the permanent shutdown of the Kori Nuclear Power Plant 1 (Kori-1), the country’s first nuclear power plant (NPP), and announced the administration’s position to abolish the nuclear-centred electricity policy and move toward an era of nuclear-free Korea. In order to implement his plans, the new President suggested to 1) completely abandon the construction plans for the new NPPs that are in preparation, 2) prohibit extending the design life of reactors and shut down Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant 1, 3) reach a social consensus comprehensively taking the safety, construction progress, input cost, compensation cost, and reserve margin of the Shin Kori Nuclear Power Plant 5 and 6 (Shin Kori-5 and -6), 4) promote the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission to a presidential commission and reinforce its diversity, representability, and independence, 5) establish a roadmap for a nuclear-free Korea as soon as possible, 6) reasonably reform the tax system for eco-friendly energy, and 7) make the structure of high energy-consuming industries efficient and reform electric charges for commercial use.
President Moon’s announcement today is an overwhelming moment from the fact that he has stopped the country’s energy policy that has been centred on NPPs for the past 40 years and opened an era of energy transition and nuclear-free Korea. Friends of the Earth Korea/Korea Federation for Environmental Movements (KFEM) welcomes and supports the President’s wholehearted acceptance of the voice of the people who have long sought a safe and sustainable energy society.
However, it is a pity that Mr Moon did not mention to halt the construction of the Shin Kori-5 and -6, which he had promised during the last presidential election. Fortunately, he made his will to initiate an energy transition to a nuclear-free Korea loud and clear throughout in his commemorative speech. In order to achieve a social consensus and keep in step with the President’s agenda, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. should stop the construction of the Shin Kori-5 and -6. Then, starting with the suspension of construction Shin Kori-5 and -6, new NPPs will be cancelled, and an era of energy transition will begin.
By shutting down Kori-1 today, S. Korea has entered the path to a nuclear-free future. We call on the government, without further delaying, to put forward concrete action programmes following President Moon’s promise of an energy transition to a nuclear-free Korea. The government must also pay close attention to develop measures to support the residents of the surrounding area who have been affected by the construction and operation of NPPs.
Friends of the Earth Korea/KFEM will continue to do its best to realise a nuclear-free Korea and an era of energy transition.
19 June 2017
Friends of the Earth Korea
Korea Federation for Environmental Movements