S. Korea to Strengthen Safety, Security at Nuclear Power Plants

South Korea, which depends on nuclear energy for 33 percent of its electricity, said it will improve safety and security at nuclear power plants as Japan struggles to contain damaged at reactors caused by a record- strong earthquake.

Japan is seeking to avoid a meltdown at a power station in Fukushima north of Tokyo by flooding reactors with water and boric acid to eliminate the potential for a catastrophic release of radiation into the atmosphere.

“Reactors in South Korea are safer than those in Fukushima,” Ahn Hyun Ho, Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy, told lawmakers in Seoul today. “Still, we will review and improve the safety of nuclear power plants.” Ahn didn’t provide details of the improvements.

South Korea has said it will construct more nuclear reactors to cut reliance on fossil fuels including crude and coal, and to diversify energy sources after oil prices in New York climbed to a record $147.27 a barrel in 2008. Nuclear plants will provide 59 percent of South Korea’s power generation by 2030. The nation operates 21 reactors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shinhye Kang in Seoul at skang24@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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