Published : 2010-03-29 17:23
Updated : 2010-03-29 17:23
Prime Minister Chung Un-chan yesterday said that the country will secure its right to develop reprocessing technology for spent nuclear fuel for peaceful energy use.
"Korea plans to develop advanced technology on establishing a nuclear fuel cycle so that the country could recycle spent atomic fuel for energy use and to reduce high-level radioactive waste," Chung said during the Summit of Honor on Atoms for Peace and Environment held in Seoul.
South Korea is unable to reprocess nuclear fuel under a cooperation agreement on nuclear use with the United States. As Korea expanded its use of nuclear power for electricity generation, many raised concerns on mounting spent fuel, which the country is not allowed to reprocess. By 2016, Korea will have no space left to store the spent nuclear fuel, officials said.
Chung stressed that the country will build multilateral cooperation on sharing nuclear technologies as part of efforts to show its will to use atomic power for peaceful purposes. Chung added that the country will build 18 more nuclear reactors in Korea by 2030 to cover 59 percent of the country`s electricity demands. The prime minister was one of the keynote speakers for the forum, held to discuss ways to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy.
In a related development, Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, called for wider global cooperation to control the flow of nuclear fuel. "There are many challenges to be overcome on the road to a full multinational approach to the fuel cycle, but I am convinced that such an approach is essential in terms of non-proliferation, safety and security, and, not least, cost," he said.
"Multinational approaches are a cornerstone of our efforts to maximize the benefits of nuclear energy and minimize its risks," he added.
The first of its kind, the summit has drawn about 150 experts from 19 countries around the world. Former President Kim Young-sam and ElBaradei jointly chair the forum. The three-day forum covers issues on a nuclear weapons-free world, non-proliferation, multi-lateral security cooperation and education. It ends today.
By Cho Chung-un