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작성자   WTA                                           일시 2005-03-23 15:24:00
글제목  Science Minister Confirms Korea ' s Commitment to Nuclear Energy

Science Minister Confirms Korea' s Commitment to Nuclear Energy
By Kim Tae-gyu
Staff Reporter


Korea’s top technology official expressed the nation’s commitment to nuclear power on grounds that the energy source helps address global warming problems.

Science-Technology Minister Oh Myung made the point Monday during a ministerial conference on the future of nuclear power held in Paris, backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

``I am confident that nuclear energy will contribute to preventing global warming, resolving world energy problems, promoting human welfare and progressing the world economy,’’ Oh said.

He went on to say that he believes another nuclear renaissance will take place in the future and the global community should assign a larger role to the energy source.

In the wake of the energy crises in the 1970s, the world rushed toward nuclear power and Korea also jumped onto the bandwagon by establishing its first reactor in 1979.

As the world’s sixth-largest nuclear power-producing nation, Korea today operates 19 nuclear reactors, which combine to provide up to 40 percent of its total electricity requirement.

However, safety issues and security concerns regarding possible conversion of spent nuclear fuels to weapons have prevented Korea from extending its dependence on nuclear powers above the 40-percent level.

In this climate, experts point out that Oh’s remarks might represent the turnaround in the nation’s nuclear policy of maintaining the status quo.

``Korea’s reliance on nuclear energy needs to reach at least 50 percent for considerations such as global warming concerns and national energy security,’’ Kyung Hee University Hwang Joo-ho said.

Global warming has emerged as a thorny issue with the Kytoto Protocol, which was agreed on in 1997 and was ratified by more than 140 countries, as of last month.

Under the agreement, industrialized nations are required to cut down on collective emissions of greenhouse gases, which are suspected of causing global warming, by 5 percent in 2010 from 1990.

Fossil fuels like petroleum and coal have been blamed as being responsible for greenhouse gases while nuclear power generation is generally regarded as clean in that standard.


03-22-2005 18:35

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