Update Review of Safety Aspects of Nuclear Power Program in the Republic of Korea

Recent probes have unveiled irregularities involving a parts supplier to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., the state-run operator of the nation’s nuclear plants. Products were certified for use despite failing to meet quality standards and the revelation led to four nuclear reactors being shut down.

Concerns about the safety of South Korea’s nuclear plants have been long-standing, as the following report, prepared for the World Bank and UNDP in April of 1982, outlines. The findings of the 1982 review of the ROK’s regulatory aspects and operational safety of nuclear power plants were concerning, with the principal conclusions stating that it is “essential and urgent that there exist in the Republic of Korea a strong, independent and competent nuclear regulatory function as well as associated Korean safety laws, regulation, criteria, codes and standards.” It further state that “it is important to recognize that, by contrast to oil and coal power plants, operating nuclear power plants require continued upgrading in personnel training, equipment, and operational safety bases…”

This report was obtained by the Nautilus Institute under the Freedom of Information Act. Please click here to view other documents obtained through FOIA. 

Tactical Employment of Atomic Weapons

By 1951 it was apparent that the Soviet nuclear explosion in 1949 had already cut short the era of U.S. nuclear omnipotence and in Korea,  the U.S. military’s began to worry about nuclear attack. “In the problem of defense,” advises this March 1951 Johns Hopkins report by to General MacArthur, “there is the question as to whether one’s own forces and installations are so disposed as to be vulnerable and, if so, what more suitable dispositions and defenses are possible.”

To answer this question, the report analyzes whether UN Command field troops, army and air force headquarters at Taegu, and UN airfields would have been lucrative nuclear targets; and whether Pusan, the logistical port through which poured 80 percent of the supplies to fight the war, was vulnerable.

The report shows that each of these targets was indeed vulnerable. Each target was sufficiently valuable to justify using nuclear weapons; each target could be identified; and none of them could assuredly stop a nuclear attack.

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

United States Air Force Pacific Bases in the 70’s

This 1971 case study by Colonel William Roche explores the future role of U.S. air bases in the Pacific with regards to relations with the Republic of Korea, China, Japan (with emphasis on Okinawa) and the Philippines.

Roche states, “The current trend in the pacific, as elsewhere, is to reduce forces, economize and encourage other nations to assume a greater share of the defense burden.  This is being accomplished by withdrawal of some units and consolidation of other units, utilizing the same facilities. It also requires continued military assistance to certain Asian allies for a number of years.” (page 10)

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Loan Application for Korea Nuclear Units 7&8

South Korea experienced rapid economic growth in the 1970s which pushed the nation out of it’s post-war destitution. At the time, the Park Chung-hee administration invested massively in heavy industries and, in order to supply more electricity for the country’s new industries and growing citizenry, Park also invested in nuclear energy.

This 1979 report from the Export-Import Bank of the United States examines the finances, project costs, and benefits of lending capital to two nuclear plants in the southwestern area of South Korea known as Units 7 and 8.

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Australia in Mid-Passage: A Study of Her Role in the Indian Ocean-Southeast Asia Area

In this 1966 report, Wilder and Packard trace Australia’s development from WWII to the mid-1960s and consider the nation’s projected development. Their findings suggest Australia was and-would continue to become-a key component of Asian economics and politics. All statistics pointed to continued economic growth and substantial increases in trade abroad. The authors analyze Australia’s projected allegiances, level of international cooperation, agricultural development, military development, and increase in labor force.The report also considers external threats to Auatralia’s growth, including the possibility of a Chinese nuclear strike.

 This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Japan- Loan Application of Japan Atomic Power Company Tsurugua Nuclear Station

This loan report from the Export-Import Bank of Washington highlights the finances and costs required to build the Tsurugua plant and illustrates how supportive the banks and the Japanese government were of building a nuclear plant.

“The Japan Development Bank has offered its unconditional guarantees of the obligations of the JAPC. Such guarantee is considered by the staff as the strongest available other than that of the Government, since the Japan Development Bank is strong in itself and is a Government institution. In addition to the guarantee, the active financial and constructive support of the nine power companies, the five industrial combines of Japan, and the Japanese Government can reasonably be expected.”

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

USCINCPAC Inventory of Unpublished International Agreements (IACS)

This July 9, 1985 bibliographic list of unpublished international agreements, prepared by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command Staff Judge Advocate, includes administrative countries, conclusion dates, effective dates, duration and signers for each unpublished agreement.

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Roles, Missions, and Relationships of Pacific Command Headquarters

This 1980 report, prepared by the Comptroller General, reviews the roles of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, and his unified command structure. This report provides 1) detailed information on the unified command’s missions, specific tasks, and functions, 2) the number and grade of personnel assigned throughout the command, 3) the cost to maintain the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, and 4) an assessment of the Commander-in-Chief’s, Pacific, role in training and other areas.

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Pacific Command Multinational Strategy

The United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) Multinational Strategy (MNS), published in 1986, defines USPACOM objectives in working with each nation in the pacific theater.

The report states that “the need for a multinational strategy was first expressed in the Defense Guidance budget of President Reagan’s administration.  The Defense Guidance stated that global strategy required the U.S. and its allies to contain and reverse the expansion of Soviet control and military presence throughout the world.”

The MSN thus examines the objectives of the USPACOM  in working with multiple nations. The report states that “the USPACOM Stategy is built primarily on a foundation of bilateral relationships. Larger regional coalitions, to the extent that they can exist, depend on these bilateral relationships and the interactions of the coalition members.”

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

An Analysis of the United States Army Command and Control Organization in the Pacific Theater: World War II to 1983

This 1983 report by John L. Buckley “examines the need for reorganizing the United States Army command and control structure in the Pacific theater both to meet peacetime requirements and to ensure an effective transition to war. The investigation is focused on an analysis of historical experience, contemporary issues in the theater, and the results or the five most recent studies on the subject. The study postulates a detailed reorganization proposal, beginning with the establishment of a Northeast Asia Command.

Conclusions reveal that or the Army structure must be done in a joint context and must accommodate the sensitivities and complexities of both military and political requirements. The current structure, although workable, is not optimal to ensure a transition to regional, theater, or global war. Should an effective remedy not be applied before the outbreak of hostilities in the region, the price of transition will be expensive in both time and resources. That remedy should be in the form of a Northeast Asia Command.”

This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).