When petroleum is burned, it releases carbon dioxide, but when coal briquettes are burned, you're left with ashes.
Nuclear energy is similar to briquettes in this sense.
When 100 kilograms of uranium is spent, the nuclear waste produced is almost equal in amount, and it comes with radioactivity and extreme heat.
So the fuel is stored in a nearby cistern and cooled.
The problem here in Korea is that some of these temporary facilities will be full to the brim in the next few years.
These are the current levels at some plants.
The Gori Nuclear Plant in Busan -- the nation's oldest -- stands at 77 percent capacity, Wolseong at 75, Hanbit at 65 and Hanwool at 62.
Although the construction of new plants has given Korea some time to spare, experts say the deadline is 2024.
Korea has a total of 23 nuclear plants, and some 7-hundred tons of spent fuel is produced each year.
Without a solution in the next 10 years, the nuclear plants will have to be shut down, and Korea will face the risk of a black out.
The construction of interim storage facilities is currently being considered as the most plausible solution.
"As there is a master plan to permanently dispose of or reprocess spent fuel,.. I believe a time frame needs to be clarified for the construction of interim storage facilities."
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Some 20 countries worldwide operate interim storage facilities.
An independent committee was formed last year and is seeking advice and ideas from experts.
They plan to decide on how to deal with the issue by the end of the year.
Paul Yi, Arirang News.