Greenpeace activists protest South Korea’s plan to build world’s largest nuclear power plant
Seoul.- Greenpeace activists today entered therestricted zone of the Kori nuclear power plant near Busan, South Korea’ssecond largest city, to protest the country’s expansion of nuclear and its riskto the public. The protest aims to ramp up pressure on the South Koreangovernment, which is about to give permission for the construction of twoadditional reactors.
In South Korea, thereare currently six reactors on site and two waiting for operating licenseapproval, bringing the total number to ten by 2020. Once Shin Kori Reactor 3begins operation (expected in late October 2015), Kori NPP will become theworld’s largest in terms of installed capacity (6860MW) with seven reactors inoperation.
“The nuclear industrytries to sell us the dream that nuclear power is safe and necessary. But it’snot. According to a recent study there is a 50% chance of aChernobyl-equivalent nuclear disaster that could happen anywhere in the worldin the next 27 years,” said Suin Ko, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.
“One of the criticallessons from the disastrous Fukushima accident is multiple reactors meanincreased risk. There are 3.4 million people living in the 30km zone of the KoriNPP, compared to 160,000 in the case of Fukushima. This is an intolerablerisk.”
The activists fromGreenpeace East Asia stress that nuclear expansion will lock South Korea intonuclear when other developed nations are transitioning away from the risky andexpensive energy source.
As the world’s fourthlargest nuclear power producer, South Korea’s nuclear fleet has beencharacterised over the years by a weak safety culture, corruption, insufficientregulatory independence, flawed emergency planning, and a decreasing number ofworkers per reactor.
All four existing NPPsites in South Korea already have more than six reactors – the highest rate inthe world. Multi-unit NPP sites have a higher risk of an accident andpossibility of multiple meltdowns such as the case of the Fukushima Daiichidisaster.
Currently, theGreenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior is touring South Korea to build publicawareness to end nuclear energy expansion and promote safe, clean renewableenergy. In the past, Greenpeace East Asia has already helped secure a commitmentfrom Naver, the Korean internet search giant and the parent company of socialmedia platform Line, to power its data center in South Korea with 100%renewable energy.
“A growing renewableenergy market will compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reducethe number of fossil fuel-fired power plants,” said Suin Ko, Climate and EnergyCampaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.
“By 2050, 77% of the electricity produced inSouth Korea will come from renewable energy sources – a figure that could beaccelerated with greater government support.”