SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — The ruling party and its opposition clashed once again regarding President Moon Jae-in’s “nuclear power phase out” plan during the national audit regarding the issue by lawmakers within the National Assembly’s Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs, and Startups Committee.
Ruling party lawmakers lauded President Moon’s policy on phasing out nuclear power in favor of renewable energy for being in line with international trends, while the opposition criticized it for having caused the profitable Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to dip into the red.
Ruling party Rep. Wi Seong-gon supported President Moon’s move, saying that the policy change was driven by the dangers of nuclear power.
“At present, focusing on renewable energy is an international trend,” said Wi.
Rep. Park Beom-kye, also from the ruling Democratic Party, said that the opposition was talking about energy in the present, but that ruling party members were talking about the future.
“Just because things look good now doesn’t mean that they will be good in the future,” said Park.
Park went on to say that Korea’s ratio of energy produced by renewable sources falls at the bottom of all OECD member states. “The world is investing 70 percent of its assets into producing renewable energy,” stated Park.
“As the amount of renewable power increases, the unit cost of energy continues to fall.”
Rep. Woo Won-shik talked about Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant, the nation’s first nuclear power plant which was closed down because the unit cost (122.82 won) at the plant was much higher than the national average (60.68 won).
Fellow Democratic Party Rep. Baik Jae-hyun blamed the opposition party for the recent losses incurred by KEPCO, refuting the opposition’s claim that the phasing out policy was the reason for the losses.
However, the Liberty Party’s Rep. Kim Ki-sun disputed the ruling party’s claims, saying that “the ruling party is talking about a future that is headed for disaster.”
The opposition party said that the government and its ruling party claim to approach the policy “gradually,” but what they are doing could potentially bring down the nuclear power facilities all at once.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)