October 23, 2011
On 21 October 2011, the Korea Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA) held a seminar on nuclear power at the National Assembly. The seminar was one of a series of events aimed at improving public awareness and acceptance of nuclear power, coordinated with the French Atomic Forum (FAF); the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and included public relations and information experts from countries that utilize or plan to utilize nuclear power.However, with public concern regarding nuclear power at an all time high following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, the events have attracted attention from opponents to nuclear power.
South Korea currently plans to expand its use of nuclear power. It is currently holds the sixth-highest nuclear power generation capacity in the world. Its first nuclear power plant was completed in 1978 and currently has four nuclear power stations with 20 individual reactors. By 2024, South Korea aims to generate just under half of its power supply from nuclear sources with fourteen additional reactors scheduled to come online.
South Korea has also emerged as leader in the export of nuclear power technology and development. In December 2009, it became the world’s fifth exporter of nuclear power plants when Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) won a USD20 billion nuclear power project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). South Korean companies are also involved in nuclear power projects, proposals or cooperation with Romania, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Poland and Argentina.
In hosting the events, South Korea continues to reconfirm its global position as a strong supporter of nuclear energy. While other states are ending their reliance on nuclear energy or placing moratoriums on its development, South Korea is at the forefront of promoting its expansion both at home and abroad.