Sept. 9 - South Korea warns of possible blackouts and power outages in the coming months. Julie Noce reports.
Asia's fourth largest economy could be plunged in to darkness this winter. South Korea energy officials say the country is facing possible power blackouts unless more nuclear power plants are built, and several that have been shutdown are reopened. VICE PRESIDENT OF STATE-RUN UTILITY KOREA ELECTRIC POWER CORP (KEPCO) BAEK JAE-HYEON, SAYING: "For the moment, there is an electricity shortage this summer, and preventive maintenance work has been somewhat delayed, especially since some nuclear reactors have been suspended, as you know. So I think it will also be difficult this winter, no less than this summer." Six of the country's 23 nuclear reactors are currently off-line after a scandal involving forged safety certificates forced the country's regulator to shut them down. Another potential roadblock- protesters in a town where dozens of high voltage electric towers are slated for construction. Demonstrators say the towers will decrease the value of their homes, ruin the environment and cause cancer. We will never agree to the construction, this protester said. Not even for a trillion dollars! South Korea generates a third of its electricity using nuclear power, mainly to cut it's reliance on oil and gas of which it imports nearly 100 percent.