The Industry Ministry said Tuesday (July 5) that South Korea plans to increase the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix from 27% in 2021 to 30% in 2030, and pledged to continue construction of two reactors whose operations have been suspended.
The new South Korean president has rejected the idea of phasing out nuclear power and pledged during his election campaign to increase investment in the industry.
The return of Asia’s fourth-largest economy to nuclear policy comes after Yoon won the March presidential election by the narrowest margin in South Korea’s democratic history.
The previous government in Seoul wanted to reduce the role of nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, which led to a global collapse of the nuclear power industry.
The ministry said South Korea would resume construction of two new reactors, Shin Hanul 3 and 4, and expand operation of existing reactors.
The country plans to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports from 81.8% in 2021 to about 60% in 2030.
In the meantime, the ministry will review the previous government’s renewable energy targets and decide on new target segments for solar and wind energy.
An Industry Ministry official said it is realistic that the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix will be adjusted to below 30% by 2030, compared with 6.3% last year.