An anti-nuclear coalition is urging the government to decommission the country’s oldest nuclear reactor which was recently shut down due to technical problems. The Anti-Nuclear Association in Busan, comprising 30 civil, environmental and religious groups, made the call today at the start of its “Nuke-Free Busan Week’’ to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and to campaign for a nuclear-free world. The No. 1 reactor of the Kori nuclear power plant in Busan was shut down on April 12, following an electrical problem. Plant authorities announced on Monday that operation of the reactor would be suspended indefinitely. Elisabeth Kim Keom-hoi, secretary of the Committee for Justice and Peace in Pusan diocese which is a member of the association, said the intended lifespan of the reactor ended four years ago. The government should not extend its use any longer, she argued, stressing it was originally designed to be used for 30 years. The Kori No. 1 reactor has been in operation since 1978, but the government decided in 2008 to extend its life through to 2017. Kim also noted that the Kori power plant has five existing reactors and is building or planning several more, and urged the government to halt further construction and shift its energy policy towards sustainable eco-friendly alternatives. Meanwhile, the Anti-Nuclear Association will hold a national meeting in Busan, on April 23, to pressure the government into closing the Kori No. 1 reactor permanently. Around 50 environmental groups from across the country will attend the meeting. Busan is South Korea’s second largest city and has a population of around 3.6 million. Korea currently has 21 nuclear reactors at four nuclear power plants and is building or planning 11 more, according to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power. Related reports Priests want nuclear plant plan scrapped (http://www.ucanews.com/2011/04/04/priests-want-nuclear-plant-plan-scrapped) Church to monitor nuclear plant safety (http://www.ucanews.com/2011/03/29/church-to-monitor-nuclear-plant-safety/)
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