In his speech at a ceremony to dedicate Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Unit 1 at Uljin, Gyeongsangbuk-do, on Dec. 14, President Yoon Suk-yeol said, “The Korean nuclear power industry, which has been dwarfed by weaning nuclear power off the nation, will be invigorated and make a leap forward anew.”
In the commemorative speech, President Yoon said, “The dedication of Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Unit 1 is not an end but a new start.”
The operation of Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Unit 1 has been put on hold in the wake of the former President Moon Jae-in’s government’s weaning nuclear power off the nation for more than five years, and it began commercial operation on Dec. 7.
The dedication ceremony is expected to serve as an opportunity to disband the previous government’s policy of weaning nuclear power and restore the nuclear power ecosystem.
President Yoon, who declared the disbanding of the so-called “Moon Jae-in Care” for expanding health insurance coverage and labor reform, is evaluated to have pushed for his government’s national agenda.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) held a ceremony to dedicate Shin Hanul Unit 1 at the site of Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Plant. About 100 people, including neighborhood residents and nuclear power industry people, participated in the ceremony.
President Yoon, scheduled to attend the event, but could not do it due to the worsening of weather conditions, caused by heavy snow.
MOTIE Minister Lee Chang-yang delivered the commemorative speech on behalf of President Yoon.
The dedication ceremony gave a symbolic meaning of disbanding the previous government’s policy of waning nuclear power.
President Yoon said, “The policy of waning nuclear power, implemented by the previous government recklessly, will be abolished since the inauguration of the new government and nuclear power policies will be normalized.”
This year will be remembered as the first year of helping the nuclear power industry make a leap forward, President Yoon said. President Yoon also promised that his government would offer full support, such as exporting of nuclear power technologies abroad.
President Yoon told nuclear power industry workers, “If there were not your sweat and efforts, the reckless policy of weaning nuclear power could have driven the national economy into an irrecoverable situation in an era of energy crisis.”
Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Unit 1 has a power generation capacity of 1400MW, covering one-fourth of Gyeongsangbuk-do’s total power consumption. It is the 27th nuclear power unit, which entered commercial operation in Korea.
Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Unit 1 is the nation’s first nuclear facility outfitted with homegrown technologies, such as reactor coolant pumps (RCPs) and man-machine interface system (MMIS).
Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Unit 1 launched construction in April 2010, but it went into commercial operation belatedly 12 years later due to the previous government’s policy of weaning nuclear power.