The Liberty Korea Party filed a complaint with the prosecution against Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Baek Un-kyu, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) President Kim Jong-gap and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP) President Chung Jae-hoon on Sept. 14.
"Although the Wolseong No.1 reactor was approved by the Nuclear Safety Commission to extend the operation period by 2022, the minister ordered an early shutdown under the government's nuclear phase-out policy," said Yoon Young-seok, a spokesman for the Liberty Korea party.
He also said that KHNP President Chung violated the proper procedures under the Nuclear Safety Act and suspended the power generation of Wolseong No. 1 reactor by holding a board meeting. About 700 billion won of the taxpayers' money that were spent on extending the operation of the Wolseong No. 1 reactor has disappeared.
Yoon also criticized, “The KEPCO and KHNP have become an insolvent enterprise in a year owing to the government's nuclear phase-out policy."
In fact, KEPCO has so far recorded losses of 2.5 trillion won since the fourth quarter of last year, while KHNP recorded losses of 548.2 billion won in the first half of this year.
The main opposition party said the massive losses at KEPCO and KHNP stemmed from the increased share of expensive oil, coal and LNG, instead of reducing the operation rate of low-cost nuclear plants. The huge deficit of these state-run companies is expected to eventually be covered by higher electricity bills or taxpayers' money.
Yoon also called for a swift and thorough investigation by the prosecution against the minister of the MOTIE and the presidents of KEPCO & KHNP, who forgot their duty to maintain stable and profitable management to suit national interests.
Political observers say that the prosecution would not hesitate to investigate the case, as the presidents of state-run companies were swayed by the Moon administration`s policy of phasing out nuclear power.