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Green Party Korea's Statement on the resumption of Nuclear Power plant construction

Green Party Korea continues to strive for cancellation of the construction of Shin-Kori units 5 and 6 and for nuclear phase-out!

First of all, we give thanks to the group of 471 citizens who have sincerely and enthusiastically participated in the process of public debate on the construction of Shin-
Kori units 5 and 6.

Since the passage of the Nuclear Energy Act in 1958 Korean society has been provided only with the unilateral information that nuclear power generation is safe, economical, and helpful for economic development.  In addition, while the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (KHNP) maintained its position to resume the construction in the public debate, the biased and unreasonable claims of media and nuclear power industry were circulated without being filtered throughout the process of public debate. During the public debate the nuclear power industry appealed to patriotism with the claim that the construction would lead to the potential to export nuclear power plants.  This public debate was thus started on a tilted playground from the beginning.

In terms of the make up of civil participation, youth and the local residents of Busan, Ulsan, and Kyungnam province near Kori nuclear power plants were excluded or alienated from the process. For a short period of three months, the participants were given limited chances to make a counterargument. These defects should have been supplemented with enough time and better ways to have a sufficient deliberation process.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that the group of citizens participating in the process have suggested that the nuclear power plant policy should be reduced in the future. Opinion polls showed that 53.2% of the citizen participants wished to reduce the nuclear power plant policy, which overpowers the opinion of 9.7% who preferred to extend the plan. The poll participants also wished for safety measures to be strengthened if the construction of Shin-Kori units 5 and 6 are resumed. 

Kori is the area where a large number of nuclear power plants are concentrated in Korea. Construction of Shin-Kori units 5 and 6 will be a dangerous situation with added danger. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk due to the concentration of a large number of nuclear power plants, it is necessary to consider an early shutdown of the older plants. Kori unit 2 is due to expire in four years, and Wolseong units 1, 2, 3, and 4 should be shut down for safety, because they are very old and located on and earthquake zone. The same goes for Yeonggwang nuclear power plant where frequent breakdowns and accidents occur. Old nuclear power plants and the nuclear power plants at risk of accident should be closed early. By doing so, the Moon Jae-in government can be recognized to be pursuing energy transition policy.

The fact remains that nuclear power plants are an unsafe and expensive energy source. From now on, Green Party Korea will try to refine its policies and activities for nuclear phase-out. We will monitor together with the members of the party and citizens the nuclear power plants and more actively inform people of the risks of nuclear power generation and the hidden costs in order to advance nuclear phase-out of Korean society. We will also make further efforts to let public opinion go beyond the limits of the current process of merely gathering public opinion.

 

Green Party Korea

October 20, 2017

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