State Commission Recommends Resumption of Nuclear Power Plant Project open the window of AOD

Write : 2017-10-22


After much anticipation, a state commission has recommended resuming the construction of two nuclear reactors located in the southeastern city of Ulsan. The committee announced Friday that a majority of its members supported the resumption.
After being put on hold for more than three months, the construction of the Shin Kori five and six reactors is expected to resume following the recommendation by a state committee that was tasked with measuring public opinion of the project.
On Friday, committee chairman Kim Ji-hyung said in a briefing at the Seoul Government Complex that 59-point-five percent voted in support of the power plant project, while 40-point-five percent voted against it.
A delegation of civilians voted on four separate occasions and the share of those favoring the resumption increased each time.
Around 20-thousand people took part in a phone survey in the first stage early last month, while 471 people voted in the last round, which was held after listening to a three-day debate by experts last week.
Despite the committee’s recommendation to restart the project, it also suggested reducing the country's dependence on nuclear energy, noting that in the last vote over 50 percent supported a reduction, while less than 10 percent supported the expansion of nuclear power generation.
The presidential office has said it respects the committee’s recommendation and promised efforts for the resumed construction.
Scrapping nuclear plants was one of President Moon Jae-in's campaign pledges during the election race. But after taking office, he decided to determine the fate of the reactors in line with public opinion and ordered an independent commission to collect public views and come up with a recommendation.
The reactors were about 30 percent complete before their construction was suspended in July. Around 1.6 trillion won, or about 1.4 billion dollars, had already been spent on the project.
This cost, as well as concerns about possible power supply shortages, triggered the controversy over the project’s fate.
Launched in late July, the commission consists of a chairman and eight members. Its role was not to deliver a decision but to carry out a public discussion on the issue.
Some say the latest decision regarding a highly controversial issue has been a successful case of a democratic deliberation involving citizen participation.
Construction of the two reactors will also help showcase Korean nuclear power plant designs internationally, especially following a recent approval in Europe for a Korean reactor design.

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