South Korea has revealed plans to increase the amount of nuclear power in its national energy mix to 30% or more by 2030.

Newly elected President Yoon Seok-yeol announced the target in a rejection of the previous government’s plans to phase out nuclear power in the country.

A key pledge of President Yoon’s campaign had been to increase investment in South Korea’s nuclear energy sector and restore its status as a key exporter of safe reactors.

The new government has published energy policy goals and directions following a cabinet meeting, with the aim to maintain the country’s energy security and push for carbon neutrality amid supply chain uncertainties.

One of the administration’s key goals involves expanding South Korea’s nuclear power generation and increasing its share in the country’s energy mix to 30%.

According to Reuters, nuclear energy accounted for 27% of South Korea’s power generation last year.

In a statement, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that the government will resume the construction of the Shin-Hanul III and IV nuclear reactors and continue operations at existing reactors to expand the nuclear energy ratio.

In addition, the government plans to export ten nuclear plants by 2030 and develop a small modular reactor type with a KRW400bn ($300m) investment.

The administration will seek to ‘rationally’ phase out the country’s use of coal and focus on the timely construction of power grids among other measures.

It also aims to streamline energy demand and market structure on the basis of market principles.

In its statement, the government said that the new energy policies will reduce South Korea’s reliance on fossil fuel imports from 81.8% last year to 60% in 2030.

The development of new energy industries and an increase in exports are also expected to create around 100,000 jobs by the end of the decade.