Nuclear to remain Korean mainstay

10 December 2013

Nuclear power should account for up to 29% of Korean generation capacity by 2035, according to draft long-term energy plans submitted to the government. Previous plans called for 41% nuclear by 2035.

Yonggwang (KHNP)
Hanbit's six units form part of Korea's generation mainstay (Image: KHNP)

The draft plan has been submitted to the Korean parliament by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy prior to a public hearing. In it, the government "recognises" the role of nuclear power but also says it plans to reduce power demand over the period to 2035. It says it wishes to avoid either an "excessive expansion" or a "sudden collapse" of the country's nuclear capacity. Korea's 23 nuclear reactors currently account for some 22% of the country's generation capacity, and 29% of its electricity output.

Over the past year Korea's nuclear sector has had to weather scandals related to falsification of documentation relating to various components, which have led to the temporary shutdowns of several reactors for investigations and replacements of the affected components. With several reactors off line for maintenance at the same time, the country found itself struggling to meet electricity demand as summer temperatures peaked. In late September, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) CEO Cho Seok issued a public apology and announced a three-pronged reformation of corporate culture in efforts to regain public support, saying that Korea's nuclear sector was facing its "utmost crisis."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: Energy policy, South Korea