Support for resuming reactor construction rises: poll

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 1, 2017 - 13:21
  • Updated : Sept 1, 2017 - 13:21
Public support for the continued construction of two nuclear power reactors in the southern city of Ulsan appears to be slowly gaining traction, with a poll released Friday showing supporters overtaking opponents within the margin of error.

The Gallup Korea survey, conducted on 1,003 adults from Tuesday through Thursday, found that 42 percent of the respondents are in support of the construction of the Shingori-5 and Shingori-6 reactors and 38 percent oppose the project.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Support for continued construction rose from 37 percent in July and 40 percent in August, while opposition decreased from 41 percent in July and 42 percent in August.

In an effort to reduce South Korea's dependence on nuclear energy, President Moon Jae-in proposed scrapping the project. The government then established an independent commission charged with gauging public opinion on the proposal and suspended the reactors' construction until a decision is made.

The reactors were about 28.8 percent complete before the construction was suspended in July.

The commission has been working on a survey project to examine public opinion.

The proposal to scrap the reactors' construction sparked heated debates in a country that relies on nuclear reactors for about a third of its electricity. Proponents say the country should phase out nuclear power for safety and environmental reasons, but opponents say it will lead to a shortage in the power supply and a spike in electricity bills. (Yonhap)