Korea’s 28 lawmakers with the Minjoo Party, People’s Party, and Justice Party, as well as independent members of parliament have demanded that nuclear power plants not be built anywhere in the world in addition to the total moratorium in Korea. The request aims squarely at a bid by Korea Electric Power Corp. to win a nuclear power project in North West England.
The National Assembly Caucus on Post-Nuclear Energy and the Seoul Office of Greenpeace held a joint press conference on April 11 in the National Assembly and said, “The current move by Korea Electric Power Corp. to expand its nuclear power business is not in line with the energy policy of a new government. The state-run electric utility must stop its bid to take part in the Moorside Nuclear Power Station construction project right now.”
They claimed that both Minjoo Party candidate Moon Jae-in and People’s Party nominee Ahn Cheol-soo advocated denuclearization as their party’s main policy line.
The Moorside project for which Korea Electric Power is trying to win costs 15 billion pounds (US$18.7 billion) to build. This is larger than that for the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates.
Korea Electric Power, as well as other smaller-size suppliers, is puzzled why the lawmakers are out to block the lucrative deal. A nuclear power industry official said, “I understand some members of parliament are showing interest in our country’s nuclear safety issues. But I am totally bewildered by their demand that we stop going out to win nuclear power projects overseas.”
Choi Jeong-sam, president of Latech, a manufacturer of backup generator control panels that has supplied parts to the Barakah plant in the United Arab Emirates, said, “We are preparing to take part in the Moorside project. If it is blocked by the lawmakers, it would deal a blow to so many small- and medium-sized enterprises like us.” In the UAE project, as many as 80 small- and medium-sized companies participated as suppliers.
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