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작성일 : 11-02-19 00:59
Enerzine No.7 The double-sided contract with UAE regarding nuclear power plants
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   Enerzine No 7. The double-sided contract with UAE regarding nuclear power plants.pdf (128.2K) [15] DATE : 2011-02-19 01:11:21
1. Issues

Stop selling nuclear power!!! 
The double-sided contract with UAE regarding nuclear power plants is slowly revealed to the public

On December 27, 2009, a Korean consortium consisting of several public enterprises led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) awarded the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a nuclear power contract. And few days after January 2010, Lee’s administration announced their plan to export 30 nuclear power units until 2030. This ridiculous goal setting has been common in this government. In two years since Lee’s government started, government seemed to have been working on only ‘green wash’ policy and projects under the name of ‘green growth’, suggesting that it is the country’s developing principle by Lee’s government. The main point of this ‘green growth’ was the four-river project, which is a huge project with an equally huge potential to destroy the environment and an extension of national nuclear power plant production and export. The sharp conflicts arising from the four-river project are getting serious. Meanwhile, the government praised Korea to get the greatest success on recordable construction contract on nuclear power plant through President Lee’s ‘resource diplomacy’. Despite its ostentatious trappings, there was much concern regarding the project even at the outset. And as it turns out, such concern has a basis, as the truth is revealed to the public.

 Firstly, the government sent special forces troops to the UAE as an exchange for obtaining the order. Actually, the decision of sending troops passed in congress led by the ruling party (they have more than half of the seats in parliament) and troops already in the local field. Secondly, the construction cost is different from what was announced. The construction cost, which the Korean consortium would supposedly earn, has been decreased from 40 billion dollars to 20 billion dollars, and this amount was even further reduced to 18.6 billion dollars again. This is the result of exaggerating their work due to obsession with performance. As reported in the media, the most serious problem is the Export–Import Bank of Korea pledging to lend about 9~11 billion dollars, which is more than half of the construction cost (18.6 billion dollars) payable for 28 years to the UAE. In this case, it might make only a back-spread caused by the low interest loan to the UAE from borrowing other foreign countries’ money at a high interest rate.

 Many NGOs and people clamor to open the entire contract to the public, but the government keeps refusing with excuses citing national confidentiality. Not only environmental NGOs and other civil organizations demand investigations to be conducted on several problems, such as unsigned commerce contract, compensation for damage when accidents occur, power plant security, and compensation for loss from delays in construction, etc. On the preferential basis, the right-to-know of the people has to be met as such is as important as the taxes of people and sending troops to a ‘democratic republic.’

We clearly assert nuclear is not ‘green’ at all and it is never considered to be among our national interests. Moreover, we strongly demand from Lee’s crazed government to stop selling nuclear power plants.

Written by Jung-pil, Lee (Researcher: scumaru3440@hanmail.net)

2. Opinions

Can not we make other paths for providing energy in developing countries?
 
Since 2009, the ECPI/CEP has observed energy issues mainly in Laos, Indonesia and on the border between Thailand and Burma, and supported small-scale renewable energy installation in some places as well. As already widely agreed, the energy problem is the most essential issue surrounding climate change. And above all things, energy poverty is closely connected with the climate injustice problem.

ECPI has begun its earnest research on providing solutions to energy poverty and sustainable transition in developing countries in Southwest Asia. From middle to late January, it spent almost two weeks visiting fields and conducting interviews in Thailand and Laos. It has visited and interviewed the Mekong Energy and Ecology-Network (MEE-Net), the Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA) in Bangkok, Thailand, the Laos Institute for Renewable Energy (LIER) in Vientiane Laos and Helvetas Laos, etc.
 There were several interesting stories. First of all, there are many huge dam projects in the main stream of the Mekong in the territory of Laos. The government of Laos decided to sell the rights of use on their most plentiful water resource for money for national development. It is a developing country’s typical approach . There is no voice from civil society, and there is expected severe disruption in the environment, local communities, and residents.
 
Meanwhile, the great power of civil society in Thailand pushes the Thailand electric power company’s dam project to its neighbor nation, Laos. It was not on purpose, but unfortunately the result of merely “half a victory” which could not break Thailand’s electric power company and its government’s developmentalism and just stopped the huge dam project in their own country so that the neighboring country gets all the disasters and unhappiness.   
 
The second story is about renewable energy in Laos. Laos is having some difficulty to raise the rate of rural electrification because of factors, such as low population density and rugged mountain terrain. It is too expensive to supply power from a large power plant to a rural area. As with what happened in similar countries, renewable energy is easily accepted as the only solution for electrification in rural areas, such as those in Laos. So the said country has a more urgent need to adopt renewable energy than advanced developed countries such as South Korea.
 
We should be concerned, however, about what kind of renewable energy resource and technique will be used. Usually, renewable energy is solar energy (photovoltaic system) or wind power system. Wind power generation has a relatively low potential than solar power, so harnessing solar power is very important. But we also think about the high cost and high dependency on foreign goods and techniques. The Laos Institute for Renewable Energy (LIER) and Helvetas Laos emphasize the importance of pico-hydro power more than renewable energy program mainly with the photovoltaic system led by the Laos government. This gives a really important message about how to consider the most appropriate technology for the renewable energy issue.

Right above Laos, there is China. China is undergoing rapid economic development. The total GHG emissions of China was 900 million tons last year and it is more than that of South Korea’s 6 million tons in the same period. We could not only criticize China, if we care about emissions per capita and historical total emissions. The people in China have the right to use energy as people in Laos. But Laos cannot use energy and get economic development as much as China has done, whereas China cannot use energy and undergo economic development as much as that of the USA. I mean it is not a possibility, it is not desirable. As China needs other ways to continue its economic development and energy use, Laos also has the same needs.
 
What we can do? And what we can learn from these dilemmas?
 
Written by Jae-kak, Han (Deputy Director: hanclk@hanmail.net )

3. Act on.
1) ECPI and Trade Unions held a symposium on “real solutions to climate change and why carbon trading is not the answer” in Korea social forum.

 
   
 




 
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