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S. Korea to open its nuclear facilities wider to IAEA

All News 16:58 April 14, 2016

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to allow the U.N. nuclear watchdog to conduct an unannounced inspection of local nuclear reactors, a move expected to enhance the transparency of the country's atomic energy program, officials here said Thursday.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, a presidential panel, recently held a meeting about Seoul's partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and agreed to introduce the system as of May 1.

It will empower the IAEA to inspect South Korea's nuclear reactors any time without notice.

Currently, the Vienna-based agency should inform Seoul of its plan for any inspection 24 hours in advance.

The IAEA has sought to expand the unannounced inspection system for more effective work. It's now applied to more than 50 facilities in about 20 countries.

"We have decided to introduce it after lengthy preparations," a commission official said. "It is expected to serve as a chance for proving to the international community that South Korea's atomic energy activity is being carried out only for peaceful purposes."

South Korea has about two dozen nuclear reactors.


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