South Korea plans to build two new nuclear power plants by 2017, with another two to be built by 2022 as part of its effort to boost nuclear power, which currently meets one-third of the country’s power requirements.
These constructions will increase the total number of new nuclear plants to 11 by 2024.
This plan comes at a time when the public confidence on nuclear power is at its lowest following the 2012 safety scandal over the supply of reactor parts with fake security certificates, as well as the 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan, reports Reuters.
South Korea is the fifth-largest user of the nuclear energy in the world, with 23 plants. Earlier this year, South Korea formally embraced a lower target for nuclear power in its energy mix.
This month, the nuclear regulatory authority approved a new reactor.
The government reached an agreement with the county of Uljin to add Shin Hanul No.3 and No.4 nuclear plants by 2022, Reuters reported citing the Office for Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the Energy Ministry.
In a statement, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won said: "Nuclear power is an unavoidable choice if we consider poor natural resources, economic structure centring manufacturing and duty to reduce greenhouse gas emission."
According to another statement from the government offices, the county of Yeongdeok too agreed to have two plants by 2022.
The government through reactor operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co will offer a compensation of a total of KRW1.5tn ($1.35bn) to Yeongdeok, and KRW280bn ($251m) to Uljin to improve infrastructure.
By 2030, the country plans to build 16 nuclear reactors.