Nuclear power is not something that should be taken lightly. In the past there have been occurrences where nuclear accidents caused many casualties and forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

This was the case during the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident in 1986, when one of the Soviet Union’s flawed reactors exploded and released 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the environment. The accident took place in Northern Ukraine. This happened during the Cold War and analysts say there are two main reasons for the accident. (1) There was an evident isolation of the Soviet Union, with (2) a lack of safety culture.

After a grim commentary from South Korean president, Yoon Seok-Yeol, the Green Party is beginning to worry that their chances of facing a disaster such as the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident are on the rise. Multiple media outlets have reported that during an executive meeting with nuclear power plant officials, the president stated they should abandon the bureaucratic work that focuses on nuclear safety.

Yoon Seok-Yeol justifies the commentary by comparing nuclear power to “war-times”; in a war situation, safety is put on the back burner while soldiers’ risk everything to win. He believes the same approach should be taken when dealing with their nuclear energy; to produce the most energy and collect the most money while overlooking costly and time-consuming safety policies. The Green Party has both a societal and an environmental issue with this.

First, they say it is a grim reality to see the interests of nuclear power be prioritized over the safety of the citizens of South Korea. Unlike back in 1986 when the Chernobyl Accident occurred, safety culture is present.

Institutions and companies can be accused, trialed, and convicted due to lack of personnel security and safety. By ignoring the safety culture present in today’s world, the Green Party accuse Yoon Seok-Yeol of being a Korean nucleic acid industry lobbyist rather that a president in charge of public safety.

Second, the president is shamefully ignoring the world-wide trend of moving towards renewable energy. Creating a sustainable environment has globally become one of the most important political issues.

The president is going against an international green movement and is not making decisions that are best for the country over time. While the government promised to improve the national energy efficiency by 25% by 2027, they have made no plans for renewable energy.

            The Green Party is in strong opposition with the government’s plan of putting the nuclear industry’s interest before the climate crisis.

“If he wants to finally ignore this reality and continue to maintain the attitude of a lobbyist in the nucleic acid industry, it would be better for President Yoon Seok-yeol to step down from the presidency now” – Statement by the Korean Green Party

Catherine Harvey

Catherine is an undergraduate student at Concordia University, pursuing a BA in Political Science with a minor in Law and Society. She focuses on international relations, foreign policy, and human rights. She is fighting for a brighter future for people in need.

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