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Opposition Party Blasts Government's Nuclear Phase-out Policy
Lawmaker Asserts Ill-advised Policy Caused Huge Losses
Opposition Party Blasts Government's Nuclear Phase-out Policy
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • October 9, 2019, 09:25
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A nuclear power plant dome decommissioned in Pennsylvania in 2001

Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Yoon Han-hong said on Oct. 7 that the Moon Jae-in administration’s nuclear phase-out policy has led to a total loss of 43 trillion won so far and it is divided into an 8.3 trillion won decline in Korea Electric Power Corp.’s net profit, 6.5 trillion won in renewable energy subsidy for last year and the first half of this year, 3.1 trillion won in sunk cost attributable to nuclear power plant shutdown and construction project cancellation, 22 trillion won attributable to the failed bid for the Moorside Nuclear Power Station in the United Kingdom, and 3 trillion won caused by the canceled long-term maintenance of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in the United Arab Emirates.

“The losses of Korea Electric Power Corp. and its power generation subsidiaries have snowballed due to the policy,” the lawmaker asserted, continuing, “Although the government is mentioning a rise in fuel cost such as oil and coal costs, a simulation already showed that the same level of nuclear power generation as in 2016 would have resulted in a profit of 500 billion won in spite of the same change in cost.”

The lawmaker also remarked that Korea Electric Power Corp. and its five power generation subsidiaries have invested in a total of 72 renewable energy developers at home and abroad and 25 out of the total are currently in partial or complete capital impairment. “As of the end of last year, the total investment was approximately 1,469.5 billion won whereas the book value was 1,443.9 billion won, and the 25.5 billion won losses will inevitably lead to a higher electricity price,” he added.

Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yoon-mo said in response that the loss of 43 trillion won is groundless, the companies’ losses were mainly due to high fuel prices, and South Korea’s nuclear power plant operation rate increased this year.