Watchdog fails to conclude audit of controversial reactor closure

The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) failed Friday to adopt a final report on its audit of the controversial early closure of the Wolsong-1 nuclear reactor.
The Council of Commissioners, the agency’s top decision-making body, convened to review the audit result but could not conclude the report due to differences on wording, officials said. They decided to hold another meeting on Monday.
The council has held serial meetings since last Wednesday but has not yet managed to wrap up the report.
BAI chief Choe Jae-hyeong recently told lawmakers during a parliamentary audit of his agency that the report will be sent to parliament no later than Tuesday.
The 2019 closure of Wolsong-1, South Korea’s second-oldest nuclear reactor, has remained a hot-button topic in domestic politics since President Moon Jae-in decided in 2017 to decommission the reactor earlier than scheduled in line with his energy policy.
The 679-megawatt reactor in Gyeongju, 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul, was shut down earlier than scheduled last year by the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), citing the company’s negative projection of the reactor’s future economic viability.
For more than a year, BAI has been looking into whether the shutdown decision was based on independent research, as opposed to being predetermined or politically influenced by the administration.
The audit was commissioned by the National Assembly in September 2019 amid a heated public debate on the early closure

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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