Updated June 20, 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 is set to increase from 23 GWe to 38 GWe by 2029.

  • Under President-Elect 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.

  • Despite the additional costs of decommissioning and spent fuel management, nuclear is still the cheapest source of electricity as of 2015.

  • 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.