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S. Korea to expand nuclear power generation to 30 pct of total by 2030

All News 11:00 July 05, 2022

SEJONG, July 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will expand its generation of nuclear power to 30 percent of its total energy creation by 2030 as part of efforts to boost energy security and better meet carbon neutrality goals, the industry ministry said Tuesday.

The Yoon Suk-yeol government has pledged to reverse the nuclear phase-out policy of the previous administration, rebuild the industry and support its expansion overseas.

The comparable figure came to 27.4 percent as of 2021.

According to the comprehensive energy plan announced Tuesday, the government will resume the construction of the Shin-Hanul No. 3 and No. 4 nuclear reactors, and continue operations of existing reactors, which is expected to increase the country's nuclear energy ratio to over 30 percent by 2030.

The government also seeks to export 10 nuclear reactors by 2030 and to earmark 400 billion won (US$308 million) for the development of small modular reactors (SMR), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The government will announce a plan on the right mix of renewable energy resources by the end of this year in an effort to achieve carbon neutrality, the ministry added.

Currently, South Korea operates 20 out of its 24 nuclear reactors. The previous government had sought to decrease the number of plants in operation to 17 by 2034.

South Korea has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from the 2018 levels by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

President Yoon Suk-yeol tours a nuclear reactor factory owned by Doosan Enerbility in Changwon, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in this file photo taken June 22, 2022. (Yonhap)

In an effort to strengthen energy security, the government vowed to increase the country's strategic reserves for major energy resources and to deepen international cooperation in a move to diversify its import channels of key industry items.

It will boost public firms' role in securing overseas resources while actively backing the private sector for their overseas resources development.

The government will push to set up a special law on the establishment of a "control tower" and an early warning system on the national energy security, according to the ministry.

"If the plans are implemented without a hitch, our dependence on imported fossil fuels is expected to be reduced to around 60 percent in 2030 from last year's 81.8 percent," the ministry said.

"Some 100,000 new jobs likely will be created in the energy sector by 2030, as the number of innovative venture firms will double to 5,000 by that time."

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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