Updated August 1, 2017

South Korea

  • South Korea is the world leader in the export of nuclear technology, with a current $20 billion contract to build four reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

  • The country’s 25 reactors provide it with one third of its total electricity.

  • Nuclear capacity in the country was set to increase from 23 GWe to 38 GWe by 2029, but under newly elected President Moon Jae-in, South Korea plans to completely phase-out its nuclear sector by 2060.

  • Without nuclear, South Korea’s emissions would increase the equivalent of up to 27 million cars added to the road.

  • The world's leading climate and conservation scientists published open letters urging President Moon to reconsider the phase-out given the importance of South Korea's nuclear program to protect the climate, and to warn of misinformation being spread by Greenpeace.

  • Nuclear power is a key component to achieving peace with North Korea and improving relations among world powers. Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes and Michael Shellenberger co-authored an op-ed in Foreign Affairs on this issue, while Environmental Progress coordinated an open letter signed by climate scientists including Jim Hansen, and other concerned scientists, conservationists, and environmentalists.

  • EP's visit to South Korea was covered by dozens of media outlets including the nation’s largest newspaper, which also published a long interview with Michael Shellenberger, an op-ed about why he changed his mind about nuclear, and an unsigned editorial endorsing our open letter.

  • EP published a comprehensive report, "The High Cost of Fear," outlining the impacts of a proposed nuclear phase-out in South Korea. A copy of the report can be found here.