Korea to build dozens more nuclear power plants

About 18 to 21 more nuclear power plants will be built by 2035, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick said in a report to the National Assembly on Tuesday. 

“We set the proportion of nuclear power plants to all domestic power generation facilities at 29 percent by 2035,” he said. 

This is lower than the target of 41 percent in the 2008 energy plan but exceeds the current proportion of 26.4 percent.

To reach the target of 29 percent by 2035, Korea will have to build between 18 and 21 more nuclear power plants, or about one a year. Five are under construction and six at the planning stage. 

Korea currently has 23, but several are superannuated.

The country’s total electricity consumption is expected to reach 70.2 million tons of oil equivalents in 2035, up 80 percent from 39.1 million TOEs in 2011. The country needs to increase the capacity of nuclear plants by more than 80 percent. 

For renewable energy, the ministry has set a far less ambitious target of 11 percent as recommended by a public-private working group.

The government will hold a public hearing on Wednesday and then gather further opinions before the Cabinet finalizes the plan. 

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