SEOUL, April 17 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will foster the decommissioning of nuclear power plants as its new growth engine under the Moon Jae-in government's long-term plan to reduce dependence on nuclear energy, the ministry of trade, industry and energy said Wednesday.
The ministry aimed to raise the country's market share in the world's nuclear decommissioning market to about 10 percent by the mid-2030s on expectations that the global decommissioning industry would start expanding in the mid-2020s given the design life of the world's nuclear reactors.
South Korea's nuclear decommissioning market was estimated at 22.5 trillion won (19.8 billion U.S. dollars), around 4 percent of the estimated global decommissioning market worth 549 trillion won (483.7 billion U.S. dollars).
The Moon government unveiled a blueprint to phase out its dependence on nuclear energy by reducing the number of commercial nuclear reactors from the current 24 to 14 by 2038.
The atomic power would be replaced by renewable energy by increasing its share of power generation to 20 percent by 2030 from the current 7 percent.
South Korea planned to gain know-how and technology by decommissioning the Kori-1 reactor in the southeastern coastal region, which stopped operating in June 2017 with the end of its 40-year design life. The dismantling was scheduled to begin in 2022.