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South Korea should lower reliance on nuclear -study via Reuters

Study group suggests cut in nuclear reliance

SEOUL, Oct 13 (Reuters) – South Korea should reduce its reliance on nuclear power in view of public discontent with corruption in the industry and Japan‘s difficulty tackling the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, a group weighing up the problem said on Sunday.

The Energy Ministry published the findings of a study group of 60 representatives from industry, academic institutions and civic bodies that recommended reducing to between 22 percent and 29 percent the portion of electricity that can be generated by nuclear power. That compares to 41 percent proposed in a government plan for 2030.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy currently generates one third of its electricity from nuclear power as part of long-term efforts to replace imported oil and gas.

Agreement on a range of 22-29 percent was reached “based upon consensus to minimise social conflict over the proportion of nuclear power generation,” the study group said in a statement released by the energy ministry.

The government will hold public hearings over the report’s conclusions and plans to draw up final revisions to energy policy in December, it said.

The group also recommended keeping the proportion of renewable energy at 11 percent as planned. It suggested imposing taxes on coal-fired power stations and lowering taxes on liquefied natural gas and kerosene.

Public discontent over nuclear power has been fanned by a scandal over the use of fake certificates which, since 2012, has prompted a series of reactor shutdowns in South Korea.

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