Seoul to resume construction of two units as president says building reactors is ‘global trend’
South Korea has announced a new energy policy that calls for a “feasible and reasonable energy mix” with construction of the Shin-Hanul 3 and 4 nuclear powers to resume and the aim of increasing the share of nuclear power to a minimum of 30% by 2030.
The new policy in South Korea reverses the previous administration’s plans to phase out commercial nuclear energy
Former president Moon Jae-in’s policy had been to retire the country’s 24 commercial reactors, which supply about 30% of its electricity generation, and refrain from building new ones.
By contrast, new president Yoon Suk-yeol is bullish on the need for South Corea to embrtace nuclear energy. He has said that building nuclear power plants is a global trend and essential to the reduction of carbon and energy security, noting that the EU had recently classified nuclear power as green energy in its sustainable finance taxonomy.
According to International Atomic Energy Agency data South Korea’s fleet of 24 commercial nuclear plants generated about 28% of the country’s electricity in 2021
The ministry added that the new energy policy is intended to replace the previous government’s nuclear phaseout plan.
Seoul wants overseas nuclear ‘task forces’
Business Korea reported that the government is going to set up task forces in 10 to 15 embassies this year to help South Korean nuclear power plant builders win contracts abroad. The locations of the task forces are predicted to include the Czech Republic, Poland, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Slovenia.
South Korea is promoting its nuclear knowhow abroad
Representatives of the new government have met officials from the Czech Republic and Poland to discuss the possible construction of new reactors using Seoul’s APR-1400 reactor technology.
South Korea has two APR-1400 units in operation at Shin-Kori-3 and Shin-Kori-4 and four units nearing completion or under construction at Shin-Hanul-1, Shin-Hanul-2, Shin-Kori-5 and Shin-Kori-6. The government has also said it plans to spend 400 billion won ($320m) over the next six years to develop next-generation Small Modular Reactors, according to reports.