South Korea’s government is reacting to the current world situation and is continuing to build two nuclear reactors. By 2030, the country wants to be independent of fossil fuel imports.

South Korea’s government is rolling back plans to phase out nuclear power under former President Moon Jae-in.

Under the chairmanship of the new President Yoon Suk Yeol, the cabinet instead approved an energy policy course that is intended to increase the share of nuclear energy in electricity generation to up to 30 percent by 2030.

In order to achieve the goal, the construction of two reactors is also to be resumed. “This 30 percent depends on the condition that the nuclear plants under construction will operate normally and those currently in operation will continue to operate,” the industry ministry said.

The government wants to react to changes that have resulted from the global strive for CO2 neutrality, the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the uncertainties in the energy supply chain.

Yoon won the presidential election in March as a conservative opposition candidate and took office for five years in May. His left-liberal predecessor Moon had declared in 2017 that he wanted to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear and coal power in order to initiate the energy transition if possible. Plans to build new reactors should be halted and nuclear power generation reduced to 24 percent by 2030. Last year, the proportion was more than 27 percent.

The current government wants to reduce dependency on imports of fossil fuels from almost 82 percent (2021) to 60 percent by 2030 by expanding nuclear energy and renewable energy.