KNHP board fails to hold meeting to decide on halt in reactor construction

GYEONGJU, South Korea-- South Korea's nuclear power operator failed to hold a board meeting on Thursday to touch on the issue of suspending the construction of two planned nuclear power plants due to stiff opposition from union members.

The Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) board had to call off the planned meeting as seven of the 13 board members were unable to enter the headquarters building in Gyeongju, 371 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The gathering was to touch on the fate of the Shin-Kori 5 and 6 reactors under construction in nearby Ulsan. Work on the two reactors has already begun, with KHNP workers objecting to the halt.

President Moon Jae-in last month declared he will pursue clean and renewable energy and that he will halt construction of all new reactors and shut down aged facilities that reach their max life cycle. The policy has raised controversy and questions about a potential spike in electricity prices and even power shortages moving forward.

The government has temporarily suspended construction of the two reactors for three months, hoping to measure public opinion during the period.

Unionized workers of KHNP said they plan to further stop board members from entering the building as seven votes can pass a motion on the issue.

KHNP, in charge of the country's nuclear and hydro-electric power plants across the country, stressed a final halt of work will only be decided following close consultations with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. It has said every aspect of the move will be considered so as not to affect the lives of ordinary people and the national economy as a whole.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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