Anchor: South Korea's oldest nuclear reactor was permanently shut down as of midnight Monday.
It remains to be seen if construction of the Shin Kori-5 and -6 nuclear power plants, which are around 30 percent complete, will be halted as President Moon Jae-in has pledged.
But a scandal over forged certificates for spare parts in 2012 and the 2011 Fukushima meltdown in neighboring Japan have undermined public support for nuclear power, while the new left-leaning government aims to speed up plans to move away from both coal and nuclear.
Another 11 of South Korea's 25 reactors are set to shut down by 2030 as they reach the end of their operating lives, although some may push to have their operating licenses renewed. (KOREAN) The permanent shutdown of the Kori-1 reactor is the first step toward a nuclear-free country.
Moon's speech was made at a ceremony marking the shutdown of the country's oldest nuclear power plant, Kori 1, almost 40 years after it went online.
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea, one of the world's largest nuclear electricity producers, will scrap plans to build new nuclear power plants.
South Korea past year unveiled a plan to pick a site for permanent storage of its high level radioactive waste by 2028.
An energy ministry official estimated it will take at least 15 years to fully dismantle Kori No. 1, at a cost of about $571 million. Once approved, plant decommissioning will start from mid-2022.
The global decommissioning market is expected to grow to about $980 billion by 2050, according to a report by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute.