On June 19, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power permanently shut down Kori Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 located in Busan. South Korean President Moon Jae-in attended the ceremony there and said he would cancel every nuclear power plant construction plan in the country.
“When it comes to Shin-Kori Units 5 and 6, which are currently under construction, the government will try to reach a social consensus in the near future by taking into account their safety, costs, rates of progress and so on,” he said, implying he would stop the construction of the units. He also remarked that Wolsong Unit 1, which is in operation beyond its service life, would be shut down sooner or later as well.
The South Korean President has promised to turn South Korea into a country free of nuclear power plants since he was a Presidential candidate. The shutdown of Kori Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 is expected to be the starting point of his nuclear-free policy. In this regard, the Nuclear Safety & Security Commission is scheduled to be turned into an organization under direct control of the President while alternative energy industries are given a boost.
“No more new coal-fired power stations will be built in South Korea and 10 old coal-fired power stations will be shut down before the end of my term,” he went on to say, “Natural gas, solar power, offshore wind power and the like will take their place.”
He also mentioned that the government would prevent excessive electric power consumption in the industrial sector by adjusting the electricity charges applied to it. Still, the adjustment is likely to be carried out over a long period of time and some incentives are likely to be provided for small firms during the course so that it does not affect the competitiveness of the sector.