Country: Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: David Liu
International Atomic Energy Agency
Nuclear Reactors In Conflict Zones
The Republic Of Korea
David Liu, Forest Hills Northern High School
The issue of nuclear reactors in conflict zones is a critical global concern that demands our urgent attention. There are currently 53 nuclear power reactors under construction worldwide, many of which are in countries that are experiencing conflict or political instability. Even though the use of nuclear power has become an attractive option for many nations, the deployment of nuclear reactors in these places presents significant risks to all forms of life. The Republic of Korea recognizes the importance of addressing this issue, and we are committed to promoting sustainable and secure nuclear power while mitigating the risks associated with its deployment.
The aftermath of nuclear accidents in conflict zones can be catastrophic, with both long-term health and environmental consequences. For instance, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan resulted in over 18,000 deaths, and the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine caused a surge in thyroid cancer cases and severe environmental degradation. Furthermore, several nations have used nuclear reactors as a tool for military advantage, leading to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the escalation of conflict.
The Republic of Korea is aware of these risks and has taken significant measures to ensure the safety and security of our nuclear facilities. After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, The Republic of Korea conducted a comprehensive safety review of all its nuclear power plants, and as a result, the country increased the number of safety inspections from once a year to every three months. This review also resulted in the establishment of a new regulatory body: the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, which has the authority to regulate and oversee the country’s nuclear power plants.
The Republic of Korea is one of the leading nations in nuclear power production, with 24 nuclear reactors that generate about 30% of the country’s electricity. However, we are also committed to promoting renewable energy as an alternative to nuclear power, and our renewable energy capacity increased from 10.7 GW in 2017 to 15.4 GW in 2020. The Republic of Korea has also established a comprehensive system for nuclear accident response, including the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety.
Furthermore, The Republic of Korea has been actively promoting nuclear safety on the international stage. In 2012, The Republic of Korea hosted the Nuclear Security Summit, which brought together leaders from around the world to address nuclear security challenges. The summit resulted in the adoption of the Seoul Communiqué, which outlined specific measures to enhance nuclear security and combat nuclear terrorism.
The Republic of Korea is committed to promoting the safe use of nuclear power and mitigating the risks associated with its deployment in conflict zones. We call on all nations to work together to enhance nuclear safety and security, promote sustainable energy sources, and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Thank you.