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Church group to map out a non-nuclear future for South Korea

Opinions are being sought on more sustainable forms of energy

December 23, 2016

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An anti-nuclear energy church group in South Korea has joined other like-minded bodies to map out how the country can best make use of sustainable energy.

The Catholic Solidarity Against Nuclear Energy with civic groups, including Energy Justice Action, held a briefing session titled "Creating a road map for no nuclear energy and energy source transition," on Dec. 15.

"We are opposing nuclear power plants as they are inhumane," said Bishop Peter Kang U-il of Cheju, president of the bishops’ committee for ecology and environment.

"We cannot condone nuclear power generation which destroys the earth, the foundation for human lives," he said.

The road map is intended to show how South Korea can move from an energy usage pattern currently based on nuclear energy into one that is more sustainable.

The idea for the road map came after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred in Gyeongju, an old city in north Gyeongsang province last September. The earthquake initiated safety concerns given there are more than 18 nuclear reactors in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula where Gyeongju is located.

Father Stephen Yang Ki-suk, commissioner of the Catholic Solidarity Against Nuclear Energy, said opinions would be sought not just from government officials and experts but South Korea’s broader society as well.

"We will announce the draft for the road map next March and write the final road map by June after reviewing it. Later, we will provide the map to the political parties and ask them to adopt it into their policies," Father Yang said.

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