S.Korean President vows to scrap plans for n-reactors

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South Korea's oldest nuclear reactor Kori No.1 was permanently shut down at midnight on Sunday after reaching the end of its 40-year-lifespan, the first South Korean nuclear power plants to be closed permanently.

Since Kori No.1 began operations on June 19, 1977, the 587-megawatt reactor has generated enough electricity to meet the entire country's current demand for around 100 days, according to Reuters calculations and data from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission.

With the country still setting its long-term energy plans, it is unclear how many will be replaced by new reactors.

South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in said on Monday the country will halt plans to build new nuclear power plants and will not extend the lifespan of existing plants, in a bid to phase out nuclear power.

The country was the fifth-largest producer of nuclear energy previous year, according to the World Nuclear Association, with its 25 reactors generating about a third of its electricity.

"We will abolish our nuclear-centred energy policy and move towards a nuclear-free era".

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Moon promised to cut coal and nuclear power during his presidential campaigns.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, center, attends a ceremony.

An official at the city government expected that the deal, if made, will be instrumental in making Busan an industrial hub in the sector of nuclear reactor decommissioning.

That was intensified by the 5.8-magnitude quake that struck the Korean city of Gyeongju a year ago - an area not far from a number of nuclear plants.

As a part of a nuclear-energy-free roadmap, the Wolseong-1 reactor, which is still in operation after an extension of its lifespan, will be shut down as soon as possible, Moon said, taking into account the power supply situation. "We will stop any new construction of coal power plants", Moon said.

"The Fukushima nuclear accident has clearly proved that nuclear reactors are neither safe, economical nor environmentally friendly", Yonhap news agency quoted Moon as saying.

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