South Korean president Park Geun-hye has proposed establishing a Northeast Asia nuclear safety body with Japan and China. Other countries, she said, would be welcome to participate.
|Park gives her Independence Day speech in Seoul (Image: Presidential website)
In her Independence Day speech, Park noted that there are many nuclear power plants in Northeast Asia and that nuclear safety issues have become a major concern of the people in the region.
She suggested that a nuclear safety group be created by South Korea, Japan and China modelled on the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
Euratom was set up in 1958 with the purpose of creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus to non-member states. The organization - which currently has 28 members - acts in several areas connected with atomic energy, including research, the drawing-up of safety standards, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Park said that Mongolia, North Korea, Russia and the USA "will be able to participate too" in the new group.
South Korea currently has 23 operating nuclear power reactors, providing almost one-third of the country's electricity. A further five units are under construction. China, meanwhile, has 20 reactors in operation, with another 29 under construction. All 48 of Japan's power reactors remain offline while the regulatory system reboots following the 2011 Fukushima accident and re-appraises reactor safety according to a new set of criteria announced a year ago.
Cooperation between the participating countries in the Northeast Asian group could be extended to areas such as disaster relief, climate change and drug-related issues, Park suggested. "Such cooperation would help lay the foundation for enduring peace and prosperity," she said.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News