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Korea to rely on nuclear plants for 29% of power supply by 2035
Publication Date : 11-12-2013
The South Korean government plans to rely on nuclear power plants for 29 per cent of the total electricity supply by 2035, in an apparent move to uphold the controversial policy to expand its nuclear energy.
The former administration had sought to boost the supply ratio of nuclear power plants to over 30 per cent to cope with rising demand for electricity. But the Japanese nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011 has stoked global concerns about the use of nuclear energy, prompting some countries to change or scrap their plans to build more nuclear plants.
Two months ago, a civic advisory group recommended the government to keep nuclear power supply to between 22 per cent and 29 per cent of total power by 2035.
Currently, nuclear power plants across the nation are supplying 26.3 per cent of total electricity needs, according to the ministry.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy disclosed the target ratio at its tentative plan on the nation’s electricity supply from 2013 to 2035 on Tuesday, which was submitted to the National Assembly. The ministry is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday and finalize the plan by the end of this year.
Ministry officials said if the government achieves the target ratio, construction of six to eight more nuclear power plants would be needed to meet the growing electricity consumption in 2035.
Total energy demand, which amounted to 200.59 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2011, is expected to rise to 254.1 million TOEs by 2035, according to the ministry. In particular, electricity consumption is expected to nearly double in the period.
There are currently 23 nuclear plants in operation or under regular check-ups or inspection. Eleven power plants are under construction or project deliberation.
The government also plans to curb the growth of energy consumption by mobilising various measures such as price hikes.
“Growth in the use of electricity is inevitable, but the government will work to minimise it by improving the price system and adjusting electricity rates,” a ministry official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.