Korea needs to spend nearly 1 trillion won ($840 million) to close down one of its oldest operating nuclear reactors, but no preparations for the move have been made yet, a lawmaker said Friday.
Rep. Kang Chang-il of the opposition Democratic Party estimated it will require up to 986 billion won to shut down the Gori 1 nuclear power plant, in a document submitted to a parliamentary audit for 14 government affiliates under the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, including Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).
The amount claimed by Kang was based on the nuclear analysis of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Energy Agency, he said.
The Gori 1 unit is one of five reactors at the Gori Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Busan, located 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The reactor went online in 1978.
The total amount calculated by the lawmaker, meanwhile, is more than three-times the government's estimate of 325 billion won.
Kang argued that Seoul's estimate excluded the cost of discarding spent nuclear fuel and medium- to low-level radioactive waste.
He blamed Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., an affiliate of KEPCO that operates the country's nuclear power plants, for its almost "zero-level" preparation on how to handle the issue. He urged the company to draw up a concrete plan on the necessary steps needed for the plant closure. (Yonhap)