Ⅰ. Background and Purpose
□ The Atomic Energy Act was enacted in March 1958, and the Atomic Energy Institute was officially launched in January 1959, thereby setting up a system for the use and development of nuclear power
□ Also, in March 1959, the Atomic Energy Research Institute was founded for to carry out research and development (R&D) projects on nuclear power
□ In 1962, the institute began operating TRIGA Mark-II, the first nuclear reactor set up for research purposes in Korea, and officially initiated basic research on nuclear power and research on isotope production. The development of nuclear energy in Korea continued well into the presidency of Park Chung-hee
□ The construction of Kori Nuclear Plant No. 1, the first commercial nuclear plant in Korea, began in Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun in Busan on March 9, 1971, and was completed in 1978. During its construction, approval was acquired to build five new nuclear power plants (NPPs)
□ This opened the era of nuclear energy, and the past governments (former presidents Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo, Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung, Roh Moo-hyun, and Lee Myung- back and current President Park Geun-hye) have continually built new nuclear power plants in the country
□ However, IAEA, an international organization specializing in atomic energy, has stressed the importance of ensuring independence of the regulations on the safety of using nuclear power. Also, following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, the government of the Republic of Korea began voicing concerns regarding the safety of nuclear power plants
□ As a result, there has been growing emphasis on the need to perform a general review of the current nuclear power plant policy and to make efforts to reinforce the safety of nuclear power plants. Accordingly, ways to effectively separate the nuclear safety regulations and promotion regulations were discussed, which resulted in the Atomic Energy Act becoming divided into the Nuclear Safety Act and the Nuclear Energy Promotion Act. In addition, the Act on the Establishment and Operation of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission was enacted to operate the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission as an independent department. Aside from these efforts, the Nuclear Damage Compensation Act dealing with nuclear safety was amended, and the Act on Protective Action Guidelines Against Radiation in the Natural Environment and the Act on Measures for the Protection of Nuclear Facilities, etc. and Prevention of Radiation Disasters were established. Furthermore, for the purpose of managing radioactive wastes, the Radioactive Waste Management Act and the Special Act on Assistance to the Locations of Facilities for Disposal of Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste were enacted
□ Thus, this study was conducted with the aim of examining the ways to lay the foundation necessary for sharing Korea’s experience in developing nuclear legislations with developing countries and transition countries
□ Nuclear Energy Development in the Republic of Korea
○ The first pressurized water reactor of the Kori Nuclear Power Plant began its commercial operation in Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan on April 29, 1978, and more nuclear power plants and reactors have been built for operation ever since.
○ For instance, Kori-2 (1983), Kori-3 (1985), and Kori-4 (1986) as well as Hanul-1 (1988), Hanul-2 (1989), Hanul-3 (1998), and Hanul-4 (1999) in Uljin, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Also, Hanul-5 (2004) and Hanul-6 (2005), which are Korean standard nuclear reactors, were built in the same region, In Wolseong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, Wolsong-1 (1983), Wolsong-2 (1997), Wolsong-3 (1998), and Wolsong-4 (1999), which are CANada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors, were established. On the other hand, Hanbit-1 (1986), Hanbit-2 (1987), Hanbit-3 (1995), and Hanbit-4 (1996) were built in Yeonggwang, Jeollanam-do Province, and Hanbit-5 (2002) an Hanbit-6 (2002), which are Korean standard nuclear reactors, were built in the same region. In addition, Shin Kori-1 (2011), Shin Kori-2 (2012), Shin Wolsong-1 (2012), and Shin Wolsong-2 (2013) were also established. Thus, there are a total of 24 reactors currently in operation in Korea
□ The Development of Nuclear Legislations in Korea
○ The analysis on the development of nuclear legislations, such as the main contents of the 「Nuclear Energy Promotion Act」, of the 「Nuclear Safety Act」, and of the 「Act on the Establishment and Operation of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission」, has been conducted.
○ The 「Nuclear Energy Promotion Act」 provides for matters related to the research, development, production and use of nuclear energy, and to the promotion of nuclear energy business.
○ Of particular note, the key matters set forth in the 「Nuclear Energy Promotion Act」 include the establishment of the Nuclear Energy Promotion Commission, formulation and implementation of comprehensive plans for the promotion of nuclear energy, research and development of nuclear energy, and a nuclear energy fund to secure financial resources for nuclear energy research and development.
○ The 「Nuclear Safety Act」 sets forth the matters related to the safety regulations for nuclear power plants, radioactive waste management facilities, and transport of radioactive (waste) materials. To be more specific, the safety provisions are in regard to the prior approval of construction site and limited works, construction and operation permits for nuclear power plants, standard design approval, inspections, periodic safety reviews, permit for construction and operation (integrated permit) of radioactive waste management facilities, etc., pre-service inspection, regular inspections, quality assurance inspections, reporting of transport, approval of packaging and transportation containers, transportation inspections and container inspections, etc.
○ Of particular note, compared to the brief provisions on decommissioning in the past, the present 「Nuclear Safety Act」, which was amended on January 20, 2015, provides for detailed and progressive provisions through delegation provisions. As a result, an improvement was made to establish a safety management system for the entire life cycle of nuclear power plants from construction to operation, decommissioning and closure
□ The Development of Legislations on Radioactive Waste Management
○ The government formulated a radioactive waste disposal facility plan in 1984 to establish disposal facilities for LLW, ILW and HLW at the same site for a final disposal of spent nuclear fuel
○ However, a site for such facility could not be secured due to the strong opposition from by the local residents of Gureop in 1995 and Buan in 2003
○ Then, the enactment of the 「Special Act on Assistance to the Locations of Facilities for Disposal of Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste」 in 2007 allowed the selection of inducement areas for the establishment of disposal facilities through a bidding with the participation of the local government agencies and provided for assistance measures for the selected inducement areas. as a result, on November 9, 2007, a 2,100,000m2 disposal site with a capacity to handle 800,000 drums of LLW and ILW was secured in Bonggil-ri, Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju-si
○ However, on March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake on the sea bottom 179km east of Sendai and the resulting tsunami led to the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan to leak large amounts of radioactive materials
○ As a result, ensuring safety in relation to the management of spent nuclear fuel stored on the sites of 24 nuclear power plants in operation in Korea became a policy issue.
○ Accordingly, the government of the Republic of Korea launched the Public Engagement Commission on Spent Nuclear Fuel Management in October 2013 to collect public opinions regarding the management measures for spent nuclear fuel. After a 20-month period of activity until June 2015, the Commission prepared the Recommended Guidelines for Spent Nuclear Fuel Management.
○ Thus, the government confirmed the establishment of a master plan for spent nuclear fuel management, based on the Recommended Guidelines for Spent Nuclear Fuel Management, and is currently in the middle of amending the “Special Act on the Management Procedure for High Level Radioactive Waste (Tentative title)” in order to seamlessly execute the policy for spent nuclear fuel management, as they had done in securing a site for the establishment of a facility for the disposal of LLW and ILW.
□ The Development of Legislation on the Protection of Nuclear Facilities and Prevention of Radiation Disasters
○ Of particular note, the key matters stipulated in the 「Act on Measures for the Protection of Nuclear Facilities, etc. and Prevention of Radiation Disasters」 of the Republic of Korea include the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities (Article 3), physical protection council for nuclear facilities and regional protection councils (articles 5 and 7), responsibilities of nuclear business operators for physical protection (Article 9), education on physical protection (Article 9-2), inspection and correction order on physical protection of nuclear facilities, etc. (Article 12), national and regional radiation disaster prevention plans (Article 18), radiation emergency plans and duties of nuclear business operators (Article 20), urgent measures for radioactivity accidents and declaration of radiation disasters (Article 22), establishment of the Central Radioactive Disaster Prevention and Response Headquarters and Regional Radioactive Disaster Prevention and Response Headquarters (articles 25 and 27), inspections of and correction orders for nuclear business operators, reporting and inspections (articles 38 and 44), penal provisions (Article 47), and more, which provide for physical protection of nuclear facilities, etc. and the disaster prevention measures in the event of an accident
○ Accordingly, in relation to the legislation on the physical protection and radioactive disaster prevention of nuclear facilities and environmental radiation in the Republic of Korea, the 「Act on Measures for the Protection of Nuclear Facilities, etc. and Prevention of Radiation Disasters」 is characterized by the fact that it provides for follow-up measures in relation to disaster prevention plans in the event accidents and for the establishment of a physical protection system in link with the design and construction stages in order to guarantee safety and security of nuclear facilities amidst the growing internal and external threats
○ Meanwhile, the 「Act on Protective Action Guidelines Against Radiation in the Natural Environment」 was enacted to set forth matters related to the safety control of radiation that people can be exposed to in their living spheres, thereby protecting public health and the environment and improving the quality of life
○ Accordingly, the key matters prescribed in the 「Act on Protective Action Guidelines Against Radiation in the Natural Environment」 include the formulation of comprehensive plans for protection from environmental radiation, etc. (articles 5, 6, 7), registration of persons responsible for handling source materials, by-products from processing or processed products (Article 9), control of export and import of source materials or by-products from processing (Article 11), treatment, handling and recycling of by-products from processing (Article 13), matters to be observed in handling and managing source materials or by-products from processing and safety standards for processed products (Article 14), measures against non-conforming processed products and vicarious execution (Article 16), detection and analysis of suspected substances (Article 21), measures against suspected substances (Article 22), survey and analysis of actual conditions of safety control and environmental radiation (Article 23), management, etc. of information about environmental radiation (Article 25), designation and operation, etc. of institutions specializing in environmental radiation (Article 27), etc
□ The Development of the Nuclear Damage Compensation Act
○ There is a need to prepare a post-nuclear disaster compensation system in preparation of a potential nuclear disaster in the Republic of Korea
○ Accordingly, in order to protect victims and promote sound development of the nuclear energy businesses, the 「Nuclear Damage Compensation Act」 was enacted to set forth the matters pertaining to compensations for nuclear damages resulting from the operation of nuclear reactors
○ The key matters set forth in the 「Nuclear Damage Compensation Act」 of the Republic of Korea include strict liability and channelling of liabilities (Article 3), limitation of liabilities (Article 3-2), right to indemnity (Article 4), duty to take measures for compensation (Article 5), amount of compensation (Article 6), liability insurance policy for nuclear damage compensation (Article 7), priority of claims for damage (Article 8), indemnity agreements for nuclear damage compensation (Article 9), priority of claims for compensation (Article 10), extinctive preion (Article 13-2), measures of government (Article 14), Nuclear Damage Deliberation Committee (Article 15), reporting and inspection (Article 16), penal provisions (Article 19), fines for negligence (Article 20) and reporting to the National Assembly (Article 22).
○ Thus, the 「Nuclear Damage Compensation Act」 of the Republic of Korea needs to continually increase the limitation of liabilities for nuclear business operators, as is the case in the countries that are considered nuclear powerhouses, and there is a need to improve the provision on unlimited liability from the current provision of “in principle-limited liability” and “exclusion principle-unlimited liability.” As for the government aid, it is deemed necessary to specify the scope and details of the aid in the Enforcement Decree
○ In addition, there is a need for a provision on administrative punishment and fines that are fair and reasonable and are recognized as a punishment that corresponds to the weight of the violation committed
Ⅲ. Expected Effects
□ This study was conducted with the aim of providing systemically Korea’s experience of nuclear legislations for transition countries and developing countries under the circumstance of insufficient introduction of Korea’s experience of development of nuclear legislations in English
Chapter 1 Introduction 21
Chapter 2 Nuclear Energy Development in the Republic of Korea 25
Chapter 3 The Development of Nuclear Legislations in Korea 31
Section 1 Transformation of Nuclear Legislations 31
Section 2 The Main Content of the 「Nuclear Energy Promotion Act」 44
Section 3 The Main Content of the 「Nuclear Safety Act」 52
Section 4 The Main Content of the 「Act on the Establishment and Operation of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission」 94
Chapter 4 The Development of Legislations on Radioactive Waste Management 105
Section 1 The History of Legislations on Radioactive Waste Management 105
Section 2 The Main Content of the 「Radioactive Waste Management Act」 109
Section 3 The Main Content of the 「Special Act on Assistance to the Locations of Facilities for Disposal of Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste」 120
Section 4 Sub-conclusion 129
Chapter 5 The Development of Legislation on the Protection of Nuclear Facilities and Prevention of Radiation Disasters 133
Section 1 The History of Legislation on the Protection of Nuclear Facilities and Prevention of Radiation Disasters 133
Section 2 The Main Content of the Legislation on the Protection of Nuclear Facilities, etc. and Prevention of Radiation Disasters 142
Section 3 Sub-conclusion 181
Chapter 6 The Development of the Nuclear Damage Compensation Act 187
Section 1 The History of the 「Nuclear Damage Compensation Act」 187
Section 2 The Main Content of the 「Nuclear Damage Compensation Act」 191
Section 3 Sub-conclusion 204
Chapter 7 The Outlook and Tasks Related to the Legislation on Nuclear Development in the Republic of Korea 207