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In South Korea, a pledge to scrap plans for new reactors marks an overhaul for country’s energy policy, Financial Times reports.
South Korea ‘s president Moon Jae-in has vowed to scrap all existing plans for new nuclear power plants and cancel lifetime extensions for aged reactors, heralding a major overhaul for the country’s energy policy.
It marked Mr Moon’s second major announcement to change the country’s power mix after ordering a temporary halt on eight of the country’s older coal power plants soon after taking office last month, amid growing health concerns in one of the world’s most polluted countries.
“We will abolish our nuclear-centred energy policy and move towards a nuclear-free era, ” Mr Moon said on Monday in the coastal city Busan, marking the closure of the country’s first nuclear reactor built in 1977. “So far, the country’s energy policy focused on low prices and efficiency. But this should change now with our top priority on public safety and the environment.”
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He added that the country would soon shut down another aged nuclear plant following a previous extension of its lifecycle, while hinting at halting the construction of two new nuclear reactors conditional upon a public consensus.
South Korea has the sixth-largest fleet of nuclear reactors in the world, generating about one-third of its energy needs from 25 reactors. But concerns over nuclear safety have intensified after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 and a major earthquake in the country’s southeastern city last year.
The new policy represents a break from the past administrations, which favoured cheaper but dirty coal power and riskier nuclear energy over more costly natural gas and clean renewables.

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