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“Unpardonable corruption in South Korea’s nuclear industry

corruptionS. KOREA EX-VICE MINISTER CHARGED IN NUCLEAR GRAFT PROBE The probe by public prosecutors followed an order from President Park Geun-Hye to eradicate what she called “unpardonable” corruption in the industry.

So far 97 people have been charged with offences.

Despite concern over how the nuclear sector is run, the government has vowed to push ahead with plans to build an additional 16 reactors by 2030.  SEOUL (AFP) – A former deputy minister has been charged with taking bribes as part of a corruption probe into South Korea’s nuclear industry which has already indicted nearly 100 people, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Park Young-June, a former vice minister in charge of energy, stands accused of accepting 50 million won ($45,000) bribes in 2010 in return for favouring a constructor bidding for a nuclear reactor contract.

The 53-year-old is also charged with taking backhanders from Kim Jong-Shin, the one-time chief of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, the state-run company which oversees nuclear power plants.

South Korea has 23 reactors which are meant to meet more than 30 percent of electricity needs.
The sector is currently undergoing a crisis of confidence following a series of shutdowns and a scandal involving parts provided with fake safety certificates

Last year, officials said eight suppliers were found to have faked warranties covering thousands of items used in a number of reactors. The scandal further undermined public confidence already shaken by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and its ongoing repercussions. The probe by public prosecutors followed an order from President Park Geun-Hye to eradicate what she called “unpardonable” corruption in the industry.



September 12, 2013 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Korea

1 Comment »

  1. 9 September 2013
    South Korean President Makes ‘Sales Diplomacy’ Pitch In Vietnam
    HANOI, Sept 9 (Bernama) — President Park Geun-hye on Sunday for South Korea’s participation in Vietnam’s planned construction of nuclear power plants, saying the project will “open up a new horizon” in economic cooperation between the two countries, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

    Park made the remark during a dinner meeting with economic officials and business leaders of the two countries, stressing that economic cooperation between the two sides should be shifted from focusing on small-scale industries to high-tech, high value-added sectors.

    “If cooperation for nuclear power plant construction materialises, it will not only contribute greatly to the stable growth of Vietnam’s economy, but also open up a new horizon in economic cooperation between both countries,” Park said during the meeting.

    Park arrived in Hanoi on Saturday for a five-day visit billed by officials as the starting point for her “sales diplomacy” drive. The drive is described as a commitment to use diplomatic trips and meetings to promote South Korea’s economic interests to help Asia’s fourth-largest economy recover from a prolonged slump.

    She is scheduled to hold a summit with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang on Monday for talks focused on economic cooperation, such as how to forge a mutually beneficial free trade agreement and strengthen cooperation in nuclear power and industrial technology.

    Park described Vietnam as a member of the fast-growing “VIP” economies that also include Indonesia and the Philippines. She said her first trip to Vietnam among Southeast Asian nations shows her firm belief that the two countries can build a bright future together.

    Park noted that trade volume between the two countries jumped 44-fold from less than US$500 million in 1992, when the sides established diplomatic relations, to US$21.6 billion last year, three years earlier than originally targeted.

    “We have to build on achievements in economic cooperation from the past 20 years to open up a new 20 years,” she said.

    Park also called for an early conclusion of a free trade agreement with Vietnam.

    Vietnam plans to build 10 nuclear reactors by 2030, and South Korea hopes to take part in the construction of two of them, more than 1,000 megawatts each. The two-reactor projects are worth about US$10 billion. Russia and Japan are also vying for participation.

    South Korean firms are also trying to win a US$3.6 billion project to build two 1,000-megawatt, coal-powered thermal power plants in the Long Phu district in southern Vietnam. They are also hoping to win a US$2.3 billion project to build two 600-megawatt thermal power plants in the Nghi Son economic zone in northern Vietnam.

    Other projects South Korea is pushing for include acquiring a 44-percent stake in a combined cycle thermal power plant in the Nhon Trach district in southeastern Vietnam, and building and operating an underground oil storage terminal in Dung Quat in southern Vietnam.

    During Monday’s summit, Park plans to stress the technological edge of South Korean-built nuclear reactors and their improved safety features, while asking for Vietnam’s support for Korean firms trying to participate in the atomic power plant construction project.

    Park will also propose a series of development aid projects for Vietnam, including one that calls for establishing a science technology research institute, known as V-KIST, modelled after the Korea Institute of Science and Technology.

    A series of memorandums of understanding will also be signed.


    Comment by arclight2011part2 | September 13, 2013 | Reply

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