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IEA Chief Says Adding Nuclear Reactors is Logical for Korea Updated: 2012-11-24 00:00:00 KST

Expanding the number of nuclear reactors is the only viable option for Korea, a country that has no other alternative energy sources but is contending with a rising demand for electricity.
That's according to Maria Van Der Hoeven on Friday, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, who is currently in Seoul to present the agency's report on Korea's energy policies.

[Interview : Maria Van Der Hoeven, Executive Director
International Energy Agency] "Five reactors are under construction and six more have been announced. But given the forecast demands for energy and a lack of indigeneous resources, this is a logical policy."

A third of Korea's power is generated from 23 nuclear reactors across the country and there are plans to add 11 more by 2024.
However, Van Der Hoeven's suggestion comes at a complicated time.
The country's nuclear sector has been involved in a series of incidents in recent months, which led to the shutdown of two reactors.
This, on top of heightened concerns over nuclear safety after last year's Fukushima disaster in Japan.
And while there are calls for reducing the country's reliance on nuclear power and moving towards alternative energy sources like wind and solar power, the IEA chief called for solid strategies before walking away from nuclear altogether.

[Interview : Maria Van Der Hoeven, Executive Director
International Energy Agency] "And how you are going to fill the gap and its costs as well Van Der Hoeven, however, said that Korea should be more transparent about its nuclear power sector in order to regain public trust about the safety of its plants.


[Reporter : Hwang Sung-hee
ssung86@arirang.co.kr] "The IEA chief defined Korea as a country that is still growing. It's going to see growing population, growing prosperity and growing demand for electricity in the years to come. She said ensuring reliable and safe sources of electricity supply is key and called for large scale grid investments for a greater deployment of renewables.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
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