Shin-Hanul nuclear power plant.  (provided by Gyeongsangbuk-do)

Nuclear-related stocks soar… ‘Happy color’ in the announcement of the government’s revival of nuclear power

Shin-Hanul nuclear power plant. (provided by Gyeongsangbuk-do)

On May 3, Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the Presidential Transition Committee, announced the next government task, including the six major directions and 110 detailed tasks. Nuclear power plant-related stocks soared as the nuclear phase-out policy was scrapped and nuclear power plant construction resumed.

In the stock market on the 3rd, Hulim Robot, which started developing nuclear power plant-related robots, finished trading at 3835 won, up 27.2% from the previous trading day, and Woojin, a manufacturer of measuring instruments for nuclear power plants, at 11,250 won, up 15.5%. Small nuclear power plant-related stocks also rose 9.39%, while Iljin Power and KEPCO Technology, which design and repair nuclear power plants, rose 2.76% and 3.13%, respectively.

In the announcement of the national task on the same day, the transition committee announced that it would resume construction of Shin-Hanul Units 3 and 4 and adjust the continued operation and utilization of nuclear power plants. It also suggested that the export of 10 nuclear power plants be exported by increasing the proportion of nuclear power generation by 2030. To this end, the ‘Nuclear Energy Export Strategy Promotion Team (tentative name)’ will be newly established in which government ministries, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Korea Electric Power Corporation, financial institutions, and nuclear power companies participate together.

It also announced that it would classify nuclear power generation as an eco-friendly industry and include it in the green classification system (K taxonomy). The previous day, Environment Minister candidate Han Hwa-jin also answered, “In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, it is classified as a green carbon source.” Previously, the Moon Jae-in government excluded nuclear power generation from the K taxonomy. As Chairman Ahn officially announced the direction of the next government’s nuclear power policy, it is expected that the Moon Jae-in administration’s nuclear-free policy will be completely abolished and the carbon-neutral strategy will be revised in line with the policy to be changed.

There are also foreign media reports that the UK is in negotiations with South Korea to build a new nuclear power plant. According to the British Daily Telegraph on the 2nd (local time), British Minister of Industry and Energy Kwasi Kurteng met with a working group of the Korea Electric Power Corporation to discuss the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the UK. Discussions with a Korean company escalated as France Electric Power (EDF), which is participating in the UK’s new nuclear power plant project, said it wants to develop the project with a democratic ally rather than a Chinese company in the nuclear power plant project. It is said that discussions are still in an early stage, and no agreement has been reached regarding a specific nuclear power plant.

KEPCO said, “It is true that we met with working-level officials from the UK last month based on the information that the UK decided to build eight new nuclear power plants by 2050.” The Telegraph reported that the project is expected to proceed positively as the interests of the Yun Seok-yeol government, which formalized the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the UK and the abolition of the nuclear-free policy, are aligned.

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