South Korea Approves Two New Nuclear Power Plants
The government yesterday approved a US$7 billion project to build two nuclear plants, a boost for an industry struggling to emerge from the shadow of Japan’s Fukushima disaster and the first approval since a policy review sparked by a safety scandal at Korean reactors.
Approval comes only two weeks after South Korea announced a policy shift to cut its reliance on nuclear generation to 29 per cent of total power supply by 2035, down from a planned 41 per cent by 2030.
A series of nuclear reactor shutdowns since last year due to safety issues have raised the risk of blackouts, putting pressure on policymakers to maintain power supplies in an economy relying on energy-intensive industries such as car-making, steel and electronics.
The approvals will also encourage South Korea’s nuclear power industry, which still aims to export its expertise into a global market dominated by France, the United States and Russia.
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