South Korea's president says will continue phasing out nuclear power

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The number of nuclear reactors operating in South Korea will be cut to a net 14 by 2038 it said.

Moon said on Sunday that he will continue with his nuclear phase-out policy, including stopping plans for the construction of new nuclear reactors. Although Moon said that the government will resume the construction of two nuclear reactors as recommended by the deliberation committee, he reiterated his nuclear phase-out plan, saying, "We will completely stop all plans for the construction of new nuclear reactors, and will shut down the Wolsong-1 once the government confirms stability in energy supplies".

Wolsong-1, which is now in operation by extending its life span, and other 10 aged nuclear reactors, whose life span will expire in 2029, are expected to be shut down earlier than scheduled. With his message, Moon signaled his own "post-nuclear vision" to those who see him as sacrificing a strong potential source of exports with his abandonment of predecessors Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye's expansion of domestic plants and exportation of plants overseas - announcing instead that he plans to push his post-nuclear policies even harder through the alternative approach of advancement into the decommissioning market. Moon went on to say the administration would "develop follow-up and supplementary measures to implement the committee's recommendation". But he also renewed his commitment to winding down nuclear power and increasing the use of renewable energy.

The move will restart work on the two reactors that was frozen after President Moon Jae-in came to power in May on a ticket calling for scaling back nuclear power.

Completing the two reactors could mean a reversal of a strategy to slowly reduce nuclear energy's share of the power mix, and also significantly eat into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand of the world's second-largest consumer of the fuel. Moon's vision included efforts to acquire and export nuclear power plant decommissioning technology.

"I believe the debate was a chance to create a new mechanism to solve social conflicts and issues, while further developing our democracy", the president said in a cabinet meeting held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.