Because of the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan, I decided to find some information about the nuclear reactors in South Korea, and, especially, where the nearest one to Yeosu is located.
According to this Wikipedia article, more than 31% of Korea’s electricity production is supplied by nuclear power. That’s more than any other country outside of Europe, including Japan’s almost 29%. By contrast, France’s reactors provide a whopping 75% of its electricity needs, while the U.S. gets 20% of its electricity via nuclear facilities.
According to another Wiki article, there are four power plants in South Korea, with the nearest one to Yeosu located in Yeonggwang, which is about 80 miles from us as the crow flies, according to my Lonely Planet map of Korea–not all that far away. According to the same article, there are 21 reactors at the four plants, with 11 more due to come online by 2021.
Of course, with the dire news from Japan, Korea’s government is conducting a safety check of all the plants to determine their vulnerability to tsunamis. The Yeonggwang plant is located in the southwest part of the country, but the other three are in the southeast. From the article in the preceding link from the Korea Herald:
Of South Korea’s four nuclear power plants, three–Uljin, Wolsong and Gori–are located on the southeastern coast facing Japan. If a major earthquake occured on the western coast of Japan, it could send tsunami waves across the East Sea that could hit these facilities.
Let’s hope that never happens.