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"ASIAN ENERGY SECURITY NETWORK DAILY REPORT, February 11, 2004", AESNet, February 11, 2004,

Wednesday, February 11, 2004



1. DPRK Delegation on the Environmental Impacts of Grid Interconnection

The Nautilus Institute (DPRK delegation, “THE PROSPECT OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN DPRK AND REGIONAL CO-OPERATION IN NORTH-EAST ASIA,” 10/1/03) released a North Korean study examining the environmental impacts of regional cooperation on Grid Interconnection projects that the DPRK delegation presented to the Nautilus Institute’s 3rd Workshop on Grid Interconnection in Vladivostok, Russia on September 31, 2003. The DPRK delegation stated: “The inter-state electric ties (ISETs) in Northeast Asia (NEA) has an important significance not only in solving the energy security with which each country is faced under a long program, but also in its environmental protection strategy.”

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2. The DPRK Energy Sector: Current Status And Options For The Future

The Nautilus Institute (David von Hippel, “THE DPRK ENERGY SECTOR: CURRENT STATUS AND OPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE,” 11/8/03) released this study examining the current status of the energy market in the DPRK written for the Forth East Asian Energy Futures Project (EAEF) workshop convened by Nautilus Institute in November 2004 in Vancouver, Canada. This presentation features details on the current status of the DPRK energy sector, noting key changers over the last 8 years, as well as an examination of the potential for future development and energy efficiency.

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3. Two Energy Plans for the DPRK

The New York Times (James Brooke, ” TWO ENERGY PLANS FOR NORTH KOREA,” Niigata, 2/3/04) reported that on the DPRK’s desolate eastern coast, 600 miles directly across the Sea of Japan from here, soldiers guard an abandoned construction site where two light-water nuclear reactors were to be built. The DPRK is desperately short of energy, and agreed in 1994 to halt its nuclear weapons program in exchange for help from its capitalist neighbors and the United States in building nuclear power plants. But work at the site was halted on Dec. 1 because the United States said the DPRK had violated the 1994 agreement by pursuing nuclear weapons anyway. On Friday, the State Department said the civilian nuclear power program had “no future.” In retaliation, the DPRK is holding hostage the construction equipment at the site belonging to contractors from the ROK, which has sunk almost $1 billion into the project. With the civilian nuclear power program off the table, the DPRK needs another plan for expanding its energy supply, and its neighbors need a way to break the diplomatic stalemate. On Monday, at a regional energy forum here, energy executives from Russia and the United States outlined two proposals. Both ideas – a 235-mile electric power line from Vladivostok and a 1,500-mile natural gas pipeline from Sakhalin – highlight Russia’s future as an energy exporter to Northeast Asia.

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4. ROK on Nuclear Waste Dumping

The Business Standard (Roy Barun, “A NEW WAVE FOR KOREAN ENERGY,” 2/6/04) reported that Wido is a tiny island off the ROK’s western coast, inhabited by no more than 1,400 people, mostly engaged in fishing; and Buan, the county to which it belongs, is a 3,968-hectare scenic wonderland on the peninsula sought for its beauty and serenity. For the last seven months, though, this peaceful corner of Korea has been rocked by protests and violence in a display of people power that has shaken up the national government. For 17 years, the ROK has been looking for a site where the waste from its 17 nuclear power plants could be permanently stored. When the Buan county government eventually volunteered to host such a dump and offered the island of Wido, 14 km offshore, Seoul thought its trouble was over. In fact, it was just beginning. Ever since the government announced last July that Wido would be the dumpsite, the people of Buan have been up in arms. They are marching, picketing, demonstrating and fighting battles with the police that have often been more than hit-and-run. In these months, their resolve hasn’t wilted a bit. They simply don’t want a hazardous dump in their backyard. With organized unions now having joined the fray on the side of the protesters, the government is clearly on the defensive. It still wants to try and persuade the people that the dump would be safe, but knows it’s a lost battle. In fact, people doubt if the government can find a permanent dumpsite at all after this, or if it would be easy in future to even build new nuclear power plants. The Buan resistance hangs like a big question mark over a country that already gets 40 per cent of its energy from nuclear generation and would like to get more so that it can reduce its almost-total dependence on oil from west Asia.

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5. East Asian Grid Interconnection

A regular trilateral meeting devoted to the consideration of various issues involved in integrating the Russian Far East, DPRK and ROK power systems took place in Pyongyang in December 9th to 10th, 2003. Energy experts from three countries participated. The DPRK was represented by officials from Ministry for Electric & Coal Industries, Russia was represented by a group of experts of Joint-stock Company “Unified Power Grid of Russia,” and the heads of Korea Electrotrechnology Research Institute (KERI) represented the ROK.

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6. Perspectives and Measures for Energy Security in the 21st Century

Korea Energy Economics Institute (Hyun Jae Doh, “PERSPECTIVES AND MEASURES FOR ENERGY SECURITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY,” December 2003). This abstract from an new publication from the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI) first examines the elements that could cause an energy crisis and the patterns the crisis could exhibit, and offers a comprehensive concept of energy security with consideration of various aspects that energy is interconnected with. Also in this study, various policies on energy security of Korea have been examined.

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7. Energy Supply And Demand In Mongolia

(Chogdon Oyunchimeg, “ENERGY SUPPLY AND DEMAND IN MONGOLIA”) This paper surveys the current status of the energy sector in Mongolia. It discusses supply and demand, examining the energy resources of the nation, possible renewable and energy efficiency measures, and takes a close look at the proposed Trans-Mongolian pipeline project.

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8. Household Fuel Use in the PRC

Energy Policy (Rufus D. Edwards, Kirk R. Smith, Junfeng Zhang, Yuqing Ma, “IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGES IN HOUSEHOLD STOVES AND FUEL USE IN CHINA,” 2004) released this report on household fuel use in China. “In recent decades China has pursued a number of national energy policies as integral components of its 5-year development plans including the unprecedented dissemination of several generations of fuel saving stoves in the majority of its rural populations. These programs, although designed for conservation of fuel wood resources and using deceptively simple technologies, have much wider impacts on both a national and a global level through their impacts on health and emission of pollutants that have warming consequences for the atmosphere.”

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute.


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