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9. Corruption Scandal in Nuclear Power Plant Industry


9. Corruption Scandal in Nuclear Power Plant Industry
South Korea saw major disruptions in its power supply this year due to a corruption scandal in the nuclear power industry.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission announced in late May the results of its probe on allegations that substandard parts were used to build nuclear power plants.

The commission immediately suspended operations at six nuclear power plants after confirming deficient control cables were provided under fake quality warranties in the construction of power plants.

The commission said an employee of a firm that tests power plant parts was behind the fabrication of the warranties.

With a number of power plants down, the nation’s power shortage problems grew worse during the monsoon season and summer when demand for power surged.

Power shortage warnings were issued several times when operations at ten of the country’s 23 nuclear power plants saw operations suspended in the wake of the corruption scandal.

More than 100 people were arrested in the process of prosecutors probing the scandal while the government devised measures to prevent the recurrence of such a crisis.

Meanwhile, the government came up with a plan to lower the ratio of power generated by nuclear energy from 29 percent to 26-point-four percent by 2035. Though the target ratio is lower than the 41 percent target set by the previous government, the newly-proposed ratio would require the construction of six to eight more power plants and lead to more heated debates on nuclear power.

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