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Cheong Wa Dae rejects calls to consider building new nuclear reactors

12:42 January 14, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Monday dismissed a recent call from a ruling party lawmaker to reconsider its decision to not build new nuclear power plants, saying the decision had been made through public discussions.

"We believe the issue of nuclear power plants has been finalized through discussions by the public debate commission. And so we believe it is not time when we need additional discussions on the issue," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a daily press briefing.

The remarks came three days after Rep. Song Young-gil of the ruling Democratic Party voiced a need to consider building at least two new nuclear reactors -- Shin Hanwool 3 and 4 -- to replace aged ones and thermal power plants while meeting with officials and workers from the nuclear energy sector.

Song currently heads the presidential committee on northern economic cooperation.

Plans for the Shin Hanwool 3 and 4 reactors were scrapped, along with those for several others, when the public debate commission decided in October 2017 that the country should not build any more nuclear power plants except for the two nuclear reactors that were already under construction at that time.

The public debate was launched in July 2017, about two months after President Moon Jae-in took office with a pledge to turn South Korea into a nuclear energy-free country.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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