The head of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) believes that South Korea needs to retain its faith in nuclear energy as a means of maintaining its energy independence.

South Korea has seen controversy in the sector, with a number of shutdowns in recent times.

WNA Director General Agneta Rising, (pictured) said in an interview with The Korea Times at the World Energy Congress in Daegu that, “Nuclear energy is definitely a very viable option as it has many good characteristics. It is reliable, affordable and clean. Other energy sources are affordable and might be reliable. But they are not clean,”

“Nuclear power is a very important part of energy portfolios for every country, particularly in Asia which is home to emerging economies,” she said.

The WNA chief’s words contradict the actions of the South Korean government who last week announced that it will reduce its dependence on nuclear power to 22 per cent in 2035 from the current target of 41 per cent.

Korea has 23 nuclear reactors which supply 30 per cent of electricity demand; however, six of them are now offline for maintenance and safety issues.

Several of the reactors were taken offline following a recent bribery scandal in which companies supplied substandard parts, inspectors faked quality certificates and operators ignored collusive links in exchange for money.

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