Kim Jong Un orders the Ministry of Nuclear Energy to visit candidate sites for a new nuclear power plant

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently ordered the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry to visit two or three candidate sites for nuclear power plant construction and submit action plans.

The development comes as Kim calls for the construction of nuclear power plants to solve chronic energy shortages in North Korea.

According to a Daily NK source in Pyongyang on Friday, Kim approved a work plan on April 24 to focus state resources on the nuclear power industry. North Korea’s interest in nuclear power is aimed at increasing the electricity generation needed to meet the country’s five-year plan, which began in 2021 and is expected to end in 2025.

The source said that the party called for the creation of a “launch pad” to solve the energy problem in a “revolutionary way” by starting the construction of a nuclear power plant for the production of electricity using the “basic science developed locally over the past 10 years based on [North Korea’s] autonomy and the inalienable right to peaceful use of the atom.

According to the source, the plan endorsed by Kim calls for discussing work plans to improve energy production by making the atomic energy sector more efficient. Juche-based, modern, scientific and autonomous. He simultaneously called for experts to visit two or three candidate sites for the nuclear power plant and submit follow-up plans by early October.

Kim’s call to conduct feasibility studies on candidate sites is the first step in choosing an optimal site to build a nuclear power plant, but also reveals North Korea’s intention to gradually build even more nuclear center.

Within the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry, officials promote the order as a reflection of the party’s decision to strongly develop the nuclear power industry, while saying that the tightening of the nuclear power belt North Korea to develop the nuclear sector since the “Arduous March” was not only to build nuclear weapons, but also to increase the generation of electricity “desperately necessary for people’s lives”.

North Korean leaders presented plans to boost power generation to overcome chronic power shortages at the party’s eighth congress in January last year. However, with ongoing repairs to existing thermal and hydropower plants due to outdated equipment, the country’s power generation has slowed.

The source said that North Korea reacted to the drop in electricity production by ordering the local construction of reactors to increase the percentage of electricity produced by nuclear energy, officially handing this task over to the Ministry of Atomic energy industry.

North Korea has issued a directive asking nuclear experts, scientists and technicians to participate in the electricity expansion plan overseen by the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry. The directive commissioned experts to participate in visits to candidate sites and calls for technical research on the light water reactors that the new plant would need.

The source said the party planned to build about seven or eight nuclear power plants to defeat “enemy” sanctions and plans to isolate and “crush” North Korea. He said the party insists the electricity expansion plan is important for future generations because it would allow people to live a “civilized” life with 24-hour electric lights and pave the way to North Korea to become a major economic power.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.

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