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Promising, Challenging Future For Nuclear Power

Promising future for nuclear power but challenges remain, says UN official

19 June 2008 - The number of nuclear power reactors around the globe is estimated to increase by 60 per cent by 2030, but the industry still needs to deal with a series of challenges, according to a top official with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Addressing an event in Seoul to mark 30 years of civilian nuclear power in the Republic of Korea, the Deputy Director General of the IAEA, Yuri A. Sokolov, said that decades of experience in constructing, commissioning, operating and maintaining nuclear power plants would be a crucial help to bring newcomers into the nuclear field.

"The way in which nuclear power has developed in Korea is a clear demonstration of how the challenges can become opportunities," Mr. Sokolov said, speaking at the event which occurred earlier this month.

However, he added that the global nuclear power industry needed to find convincing answers to a number of challenges, including the sustainability of uranium resources; safety and economics; waste management and the fuel cycle; public acceptance and non-proliferation.

The Republic of Korea now has 20 nuclear power units in operation, six units under construction and two units in planning stages.

According to figures released by the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power company, over the last 30 years in Korea nuclear power has generated a total of 2 trillion kW/h of electricity, saving the Asian country an estimated 2.94 billion barrels of heavy oil worth $96 billion.

ENDS

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