Dire rumors about no-nuclear policy rebutted

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Dire rumors about no-nuclear policy rebutted

The government and the ruling Democratic Party reiterated that the Moon Jae-in administration’s weaning of Korea off nuclear power will not lead to shortages or killer electric bills.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which manages the country’s power generation policies, confirmed that the country will not face an increase in electricity bills under the nuclear-free policies through 2022.

A number of senior officials from the government and the ruling party met Monday morning at the National Assembly to discuss ways to push ahead with the president’s plan, along with coming up with ways to stabilize the power supply over the long term.

“I am worried that incorrect information and arguments [over the nuclear energy policy] are spreading and creating misunderstanding, while worsening uncertainties that people have on the issue,” said Paik Un-gyu, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, on Monday.

“I will communicate closely with the National Assembly while proceeding with the nuclear-free energy policies,” Paik said.

“And I hope cooperation between us will reduce concerns and misunderstandings about issues such as power shortages and hikes in electricity bills.”

Paik told government officials and lawmakers that cost of generating renewable energies will continue to drop even after 2022 and that now is not a time to worry about possible hikes in electricity bills.

The Trade Ministry said it will be able to create 115,000 new jobs in new energy sectors, including those of renewable energy, and in the decommissioning of nuclear power plants by 2022.

The ministry also said the temporary halting of construction on the Shin Kori 5 and 6 reactors will not have any negative impact on the country’s energy supply this year, as 15 new power plants across the country went into operation this year.

A lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party defended the government’s new policies to reduce the dependence on nuclear power.

“There will be neither an electricity bill ‘bomb’ nor problems in supply as the government proceeds with the nuclear-free energy policies,” said Kim Tae-nyun, a lawmaker from the DP. “There are some unrealistic claims spreading such as the possibility of significant power outages or that electricity bills will go up by 3.3 times.

The Moon Jae-in administration and our ruling party are trying to proceed with the nuclear-free energy policies following the people’s desires, and it is our generation’s duty to pass on a clear and safe environment to the next generations. Many developed countries are moving on a similar path.”

kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr

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