The nuclear power station was painted ‘green’… Environment Ministry publishes review of K-taxonomy

View of Shin-Kori Units 3 (right) and 4 Provided by Saeul Nuclear Energy Headquarters
The Ministry of Environment announced on the 20th a draft amendment to Korea’s green distribution system including nuclear power generation. The Yoon Seok-yeol administration’s national task to define nuclear power as a ‘green industry’ has been realized, but controversy is expected over the unclear standards for high-level radioactive waste treatment facilities.

On the same day, the Ministry of the Environment unveiled a revised plan for the green classification system (K-taxonomy) to include nuclear research and development projects in the ‘green sector’ and new nuclear power plant construction projects and the continued operation of existing nuclear power plants in the ‘conversion sector’.

K-Taxonomy is a list of green industries that are subject to financial and financial support. In the original plan, renewable energy such as solar and wind energy is included in the green sector, and liquefied natural gas power generation ( LNG) is converted by transition. which is in the sector. If nuclear power plants are added in green this time, it will be easier for nuclear power companies to get funding.

The nuclear core technology research, development and demonstration projects added to the green sector target future nuclear technologies such as small module reactors (SMR) and nuclear fusion, and safety-enhancing technologies such as accident-resistant nuclear fuel (ATF). and radioactive waste management. .

Green by 2045 nuclear power stations… ATF must be used from 2031 onwards

The construction of new nuclear power stations and the continued operation of nuclear power plants, which have been added as conversion sectors, are of prime interest. The construction and operation project of the nuclear power plant is temporarily included in the green classification until 2045, but it must meet the prerequisites of preventing environmental damage and ensuring safety.

First of all, the conditions depended on having a disposal facility for low and intermediate level radioactive waste, a radioactive waste management fund, and the cost of decommissioning nuclear power plants. For the treatment of high-level radioactive waste such as spent nuclear fuel, only a ‘documented detailed plan’ was requested with no time limit for securing it. Instead, a condition was set that legislation should be enacted to ensure that business operators secure high level nuclear waste sites.

Gyeongju medium and low level radioactive waste disposal facility.  Provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and EnergyGyeongju medium and low level radioactive waste disposal facility. Provided by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
The obligation to use nuclear fuel ATF, which is relatively safe, depends on the condition that, in the case of a new nuclear power plant, it is applied immediately from the time of operation together with the latest technical standards, and the case of a new nuclear power station. existing nuclear power plant, it will be applied from 2031. It is explained that 2031 is the earliest time for commercialization according to the domestic Research and Development schedule.

The Ministry of Environment said, “The inclusion of a green distribution system in the economic activities of nuclear power plants will be an opportunity to improve the safety and environmental characteristics of nuclear power plants.

Ease compared to the EU taxonomy… There is no deadline for securing a high level radioactive site

The content of the announcement from the Ministry of the Environment is relaxed compared to the taxonomy of the European Union (EU taxonomy), which has a system in front of us.

The EU taxonomy indicates the use of ATF from 2025, six years earlier than Korea. Safety regulations have been strengthened compared to Korea, such as setting a deadline for securing high-level nuclear waste sites by 2050.

In addition, although the deadline for green recognition of the nuclear power industry itself is the same as in the case of a new nuclear power station (2045), the current nuclear power station is in 2040, so the plan is to expelled from the green industry five years earlier than Korea.

Basically, ATF is a technology that has not yet been realized in any country, and in the case of a high level protection field, it is recognized as a difficult task as only Finland, Sweden and France countries that can. protect it.

An official from the Ministry of Environment said, “It is desirable to prepare standards for the green classification system in accordance with the circumstances of each country. For Korea’s green classification system, reference was made to the EU taxonomy standards, but the standards were prepared by reflecting the reality domestic.”

The official explained that, regarding the deadline for securing a high-level radioactive site, the government’s plan last year had already been prepared for ’37 years after the start of the site selection procedure,’ so it was not presented again and again turn He said, “Instead of suggesting a year, the safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste by ensuring the implementation of the government’s plan is important. Therefore, we included the enactment of legislation as a means of ensuring implementation as a condition,” he said. He said.

Korean Atomic Energy Agency secret warfare announcement ceremony.  Provided by the Korea Atomic Energy AgencyKorean Atomic Energy Agency secret warfare announcement ceremony. Provided by the Korea Atomic Energy Agency
The Ministry of Environment intends to finalize the draft after gathering the views of experts, civil society, industry and related ministries on this draft. Accordingly, a public hearing was scheduled for October 6 at 2 pm at Yangjae L Tower in Seoul.

An official from the Ministry of Environment said, “The content of the green distribution system for nuclear power plants cannot be reversed, but detailed conditions can be adjusted.”

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