Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) decided to suspend the construction of Shin-Kori Nuclear Power Plant No. 5 and No. 6 in an emergency board meeting in Gyeongju on the morning of July 14.
The board meeting of KHNP thwarted at its headquarters building in Gyeongju on the previous day moved to Gyeongju Suite Hotel on the day. The board of directors decided to suspend the construction of the nuclear plants during a public debate on Shin Kori 5 and 6.
The suspension period of the construction is three months from the commencement of the Public Debate Committee. If a public debate is not held within three months, KHNP plans to head a meeting of the board of directors to decide on further policies.
However, there will be considerable controversy over the fact that KHNP's board of directors held a meeting despite oppositions of some people and passed related issues in a blitz.
"It is unacceptable for the board to decide an important policy with more haste than caution under cover," said a KHNP union official who expressed his intention to sue the board for a breach of trust.
The government decided to temporarily suspend the construction of Shin Kori 5 and 6 and form a public debate committee to let the citizen jury determine whether or not the construction will be completely stopped in a cabinet meeting on June 27.
As the agenda was passed, the Public Debate Committee on Shin Kori 5 and 6 will also be in full swing for three months of public debates. After three months, the jury will judge whether or not the construction will be completely stopped.
The resolution on the day made 12,800 construction jobs insecure. KHNP estimated that the damage would hit 100 billion won including labor costs of 12 billion won during the three months of public debates.
Partner companies related to the construction of Shin Kori 5 and 6 currently total about 1,700 and the number of employees at the construction site stands at about 1,000.
The construction of new nuclear power plants virtually all stopped as the construction of Shin-Kori 5 and 6 units was put on hold.
Currently, KHNP is pushing forward with six new nuclear power plants, excluding Shin Kori 4 (99.6% progress) and Shin Hanwool 1 and 2 (94.1% progress). The decision was made to suspend construction of Shin-Kori 5 and 6 on the day and shelve design and environmental impact assessment services about Shin Hanwool 3 and 4 and Cheonji 1 and 2 among others.