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Top court confirms dismissal of request to cancel construction permit of two unfinished nuclear reactors

All News 11:13 August 05, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court said Thursday it has confirmed the appellate court's ruling to dismiss a request to cancel the nuclear watchdog's permit to build nuclear power reactors in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan.

The cancellation request was filed by Greenpeace Korea and some Ulsan residents in September 2016, who claimed that the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) allowed the construction of Shingori No. 5 and Shingori No. 6 reactors "without considering the unique hazards of (the nuclear plants)."

The NSSC had given a nod to the project three months earlier.

The Seoul Administrative Court rejected the call-off request in 2019, saying that while the nuclear watchdog's permission was partially unlawful, the potential damage from killing the project far outweighed the illegality, considering the project's financial and social costs.

An appellate court also ruled in favor of the nuclear watchdog, citing public welfare and interest.

This file photo, provided by the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. on Oct. 30, 2019, shows Shingori No. 5 and Shingori No. 6 reactors being constructed in Ulsan, about 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The government launched a special commission in July 2017 to collect public opinions on the Shingori project in order to determine its fate, after President Moon Jae-in proposed to scrap the project in line with his election campaign pledges earlier that year.

After months of deliberation, the commission recommended the resumption of the construction in October that year.

Construction of Shingori No. 5 and Shingori No. 6 reactors is reportedly planned to be completed next year.


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