SEOUL, May 15 (Korea Bizwire) – Newly elected president Moon Jae-in has issued an executive order to shut down a number of aged coal-fired power plants in South Korea in a move to curb the fine dust problems that are plaguing the country, only days after he was sworn into office.
Moon revealed today his plan to temporarily close eight aged coal-fired power plants from next month for a period of one month during a visit to Eunjung Elementary School in Seoul, where he observed a special class on fine dust pollution alongside Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon as part of his ‘president that visits’ tour.
Following a trial run scheduled for next month, Moon’s swift action to curb fine dust problems will see ten aging coal power plants in the country shut down for four months from March to June every year, with further plans to permanently close them during Moon’s tenure.
The announcement earlier today was met with a warm reception online soon after the South Korean media spread the word.
The comments section of web giant Naver’s news portal was inundated with praise for the incoming president over his executive order, as coal-fired power plants have long been criticized as being one of the major contributing factors to the recent find dust epidemic, along with pollution from China and diesel-powered vehicles.
“The new order is reflective of President Moon’s commitment to recognize the fine dust issue as a national crisis and provide a solution to the biggest health problem currently facing the country,” Blue House officials said.
Since aged coal-fired power plants account for nearly 20 percent of the harmful emissions produced by all the coal power plants in the country, Moon’s new move is expected to result in a sizable pollution reduction.
Moon previously promised to scrap existing plans for up to six new nuclear power plants and also close aged reactors, including the Wolsong No. 1 Reactor, which saw its lifespan extended to 2022 after its expiration in 2012 despite having been in operation for more than 30 years.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)