South Korea approves $7bn nuclear power project

29 January 2014 (Last Updated January 29th, 2014 18:30)

South Korea has approved a project to develop two new nuclear plants with an investment of around $7bn by December 2020.

South Korea has approved a project to develop two new nuclear plants with an investment of approximately $7bn by December 2020.

To be built at the Kori nuclear power complex near the city of Busan, 330km from Seoul, the two plants, Shin Kori No.5 and No.6 units, will have a generation capacity of more than 1.4 million kWh of electricity.

Construction works on the fifth unit is likely to begin in September 2014 with the work on the next unit set to follow after six to 12 months.

The approval of the APR-1400 units comes on the heels of the government's recently announced policy shift to reduce its reliance on nuclear power to 29% of total power supply by 2035 from the previously planned 41% by 2030.

"The Asian nation's 23 operating reactors are catering the needs of more than 30% of its total electricity consumption."

However, the country still intends to double its nuclear capacity and aims to export its products into a global market, which is largely dominated by France, the US and Russia.

The Asian nation's 23 operating reactors are catering the needs of more than 30% of its total electricity consumption and another 11 reactors including the new Shin Kori units are to be built over the next two decades that would bring the total number of reactors to 33 by 2035.

A safety scandal at reactors wherein cabling and some other components at some nuclear units were supplied using fake documents has resulted in the revised nuclear goals.

Energy