Moon vows to scrap all plans for new nuclear reactors

Another possible design for the laser interceptor

Another possible design for the laser interceptor

The Kori-1 began commercial operation in 1978. A six-month upgrading and inspection outage at Kori 1 in the second half of 2007 concluded a major refurbishment program and enabled its relicensing for a further ten years.

Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo has visited the US laboratory outside Chicago as part of efforts to form a memorandum of understanding between Busan and Argonne to seek cooperation in nuclear reactor decommissioning and renewable energy.

It was permanently shut down at midnight on Sunday after reaching the end of its 40-year lifespan.

Past year a third of electricity in South Korea was produced from nuclear power plants. KHNP is to submit a decommissioning plan for the unit within five years. It was attended by some 230 people, including government officials, local residents, civil society organizations and employees of KHNP. "We will stop any new construction of coal power plants", Moon said. Moon said Monday that South Korea will move away from the nuclear energy and will not seek to extend the life of existing nuclear plants.

Moon Jae In announced he had scrapped plans to build more nuclear power plants, ending decades of reliance on the controversial energy source. "We will obtain a social consensus as soon as possible, taking into account the safety, construction progress rate, costs and spending as well as reserve power rate", Moon said.

South Korea is the world's fifth-biggest consumer of nuclear energy, and one of few countries to export its technology, having won an order to build reactors in the United Arab Emirates, CNBC reported. Together they provide about one-third of the country's electricity.

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He pledged to abandon the nuclear-centric electric power policy and open a post-nuclear era. The Gyeongju natural disaster that struck South Korea in September 2016, which he acknowledged caused no deaths, has shown that Korea "is no longer a safe quake zone".

The public's support for nuclear power has weakened since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown and a 2013 corruption scandal over fake safety certificates for reactor parts. He said his nuclear phase-out policy is to gradually reduce nuclear capacity over a long period of time.

Moon added that he would not extend the operation of ageing reactors, many of which will come to the end of their lifespans between 2020 and 2030.

Argonne, first formed in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project that produced America's first nuclear bomb, is known to hold the world's leading technologies related to atomic power.

Moon has said he favours renewable energy sources as a replacement for coal and nuclear.