Seoul, June 19 (IANS) South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday vowed to scrap all existing plans for new nuclear power plants and not to extend the operation of any aged reactors.
“In the lead-up to the presidential election, I promised to make a safe Republic of Korea,” the President said in a ceremony in Busan, marking the permanent shutdown of the country’s first nuclear reactor, the Kori-1.
“We will abolish our nuclear-centred energy policy and move toward a nuclear-free era. We will completely scrap construction plans for new nuclear reactors that are currently under way,” Moon added.
The country will instead boost power supplies from clean and renewable energy sources, Moon added.
The Kori 1 was South Korea’s first reactor, built in 1977, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Its permanent shutdown was decided in 2015, long before the Moon Jae-in administration came into office last month.
Moon hailed the reactor’s shutdown as of Monday, calling it the “start” of a journey to becoming a nuclear-free nation.
“The government will not extend the operational life cycle of nuclear reactors. We will also shut down the Wolsong 1 reactor, which is still in operation following an extension of its life cycle, at the earliest date possible.”
The President also hinted at halting the ongoing construction of two new nuclear reactors, saying the government will “secure a public consensus” on their fate in the near future.