South Korean town votes no to nuclear plant

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Voters in a South Korean city rejected a nuclear power plant in a referendum that the government says has no legal effect.

The result of Thursday's vote was expected since Samcheok city in South Korea's east coast elected a mayor who pledged to push the government to scrap the nuclear power plant.

A private election committee said 85 percent of 28,867 who cast ballots said no. Out of 42,488 who registered to take part, the turnout rate was 68 percent.

The result underlines a split between the government pushing nuclear power as a cheap energy source in the resource-scarce country and residents wary of safety.

About one quarter of the energy that fuels South Korea is nuclear energy. The government plans to increase that to 29 percent by 2035.