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This figure has decreased as South Korea has worked to expand storage capacity at its nuclear sites.However, storage remains a concern, particularly if normal operations continue and the number of plants increases as planned.Nevertheless, South Korea has decided to scale back its original goal of 41 percent electrical generation from nuclear power to 29 percent.

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Further, South Korea has argued that it lacks space and the appropriate geological conditions within its territory to safely store spent nuclear material long-term, raising the desire for alternative means to address long-term waste issues.

The term “123 Agreement” references Section 123 of the U. 1954 Atomic Energy Act, which requires a specific agreement between the United States and another country in order for nuclear material, equipment, components, or technology to be transferred.

Nuclear energy plays an important role in this strategic outlook, functioning as a stable base-load power source while South Korea reduces fossil fuel consumption, doubles renewable output, and improves efficiencies in its electric grid.

While some nations, including Germany and Japan, have decided to dramatically decrease reliance on or cut altogether nuclear energy in their energy profiles, South Korea will maintain its current schedule for constructing new reactors.

This would also have meaningful consequences for future waste storage.

Broadly speaking, nuclear power has been identified as a major international arena in which South Korea can advance its commercial interests.

It has been argued by representatives of South Korea that to advance the country’s energy security and commercial interests, enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) of nuclear material is critical.

This has been a consistent sticking point between the United States and South Korea.

Because of its heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels, South Korea is perpetually at risk of facing external restrictions on energy imports, although such restrictions are unlikely.

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