S.Korea approves construction of $7 bln nuclear power plants

SEOUL Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:45pm EST

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SEOUL Jan 29 (Reuters) - South Korea has approved a 7.6 trillion won ($7 billion) project to build two nuclear plants by 2020, the energy ministry said on Wednesday, as it struggles with tight power supply following a series of nuclear reactor closures due to safety issues.

The approval is the first since Asia's fourth-largest economy said earlier this month that it would cut its reliance on nuclear power to 29 percent of total power supply by 2035, down from a planned 41 percent by 2030.

Seoul has faces public pressure to curb its use of nuclear power after Japan's Fukushima disaster and due to a scandal over parts supplied using fake certificates. ($1 = 1083.7000 Korean won) (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Ed Davies)

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