South Korea, the world’s fifth--largest oil importer and now a major global supplier of nuclear plants, will not abandon its nuclear plans despite the nuclear crisis in Japan, a government minister said yesterday.
Nuclear already accounts for 31.4 percent of resource-poor South Korea’s electricity generation needs and government plans call for it to rise to 48.5 percent by 2024.
It has seven reactors under construction, with plans to build six more and bring to 34 the number on stream by 2024.
“Our answer to the nuclear industry is that we need to keep going,” South Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Joong-kyung said in a speech to a business event yesterday.
“Part of our manufacturing industry’s competitiveness comes from nuclear power thanks to its cheap energy costs. Therefore, it is hard to give up,” Choi said.
There have been small anti-nuclear protests since an earthquake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plants in Japan this month.
Another rally was planned for yesterday, but the backlash has been much smaller than in countries like Germany.
Of South Korea’s total primary energy consumption in 2009, nuclear power accounted for 13.1 percent, while oil made up 42.1 percent, coal 28.2 percent, Liquefied natural gas 13.9 percent, renewable energy 2.2 percent and hydropower the rest. South Korea aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020.
Choi said South Korea would continue to export nuclear power plants of the kind signed with the United Arab Emirates in December 2009. South Korea has no exposure to China, which temporarily suspended approval of nuclear power projects pending a review.
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output