Gov’t to up oversight of nuke reactor industry

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Gov’t to up oversight of nuke reactor industry

The government yesterday announced it will strengthen its oversight into the nuclear reactor industry and step up efforts to eradicate entrenched irregularities among nuclear reactor parts suppliers amid growing fears of a power failure ahead of the high-energy demand season.

During a press briefing at the government complex in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, flanked by Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-an and Trade, Industry & Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick, pledged the government will review all test certificates of reactor components at all of the country’s 23 nuclear reactors, numbering as many as 125,000 parts certificates issued over the past five years.

“The new administration has an unwavering resolve to root out criminal acts committed for one’s interest while ignoring the safety of the public,” said the prime minister, adding the government will get to the bottom of the problem.

It is estimated reviewing all certificates will take two to three months to complete.

The minister said the government will take thorough legal action against parts suppliers and test-run agencies for irregularities. State-run Kepco Engineering & Construction and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power are also subject to special inspection. The minister said those responsible for the faulty components will be held thoroughly accountable.

The government also declared it will extend its ban on employment of retired nuclear reactor-related government officials at private nuclear-related companies in a move to stem the revolving-door practice in the nuclear industry.

By Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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