We start with news that Korea’s first nuclear reactor was turned off for good on Monday morning.
President Moon Jae-in attended a ceremony to celebrate the reactor’s retirement… both as a symbol of how far Korea has come… and the nuclear-free future he envisions.
Hwang Hojun reports.
It was built in 1977, and 40 years later…
“As of 12 AM on June 19th, 2017, Korea has permanently shut down its first nuclear reactor, Kori-1.”
President Moon attended a ceremony Monday morning to proclaim Korea’s first commercial nuclear reactor’s retirement at the Kori Nuclear Power Plant in Busan.
He said that the Kori-1 reactor has been the symbol of Korea’s industrialization and enabled the nation to meet its increasing energy demands.
But also, according to the President, the permanent shutdown of the Kori-1 reactor is the first step toward a nuclear-free country,… and in his own words,…. the turning point toward a safer Korea.
“We will completely reexamine the existing policies on nuclear power.
We will scrap the nuclear-centeric polices and move toward a nuclear-free era.
We will eliminate all plans to build new nuclear plants.”
While the decision to shut down the Kori-1 was made long before President Moon took office, the President himself has pledged to close down all nuclear power plants on Korean soil.
Nuclear safety reemerged as a major issue for the public after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, and the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the Korean city of Gyeongju last year — an area not far from a number of nuclear plants.
President Moon pledged that his administration will proactively cultivate green and sustainable energy like solar and offshore wind power,… and establish an energy ecosystem suitable for the fourth industrial revolution.
He also said the shutdown of Kori-1 can be seen as another opportunity for Korea,… since disassembling a nuclear reactor is not only a matter of time but also incredible skill.
According to the President, Korea will gain these skills by dismantling Kori-1 and will then be able to help other countries when similar situations arise, especially amid growing movements to denuclearize.
HWANG Hojun, Arirang News.