South Korea faces rolling blackouts as winter approaches

South Korean troops work in unison to shovel snow from a sidewalk in front of the Ministry of National Defense complex, not far from the entrance to U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. Dec. 5, 2102, marked the first significant widespread snowfall of the season in South Korea, and additional snow was expected on the coming Friday and throughout the weekend.


By JON RABIROFF | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 6, 2012

SEOUL — U.S. Forces Korea personnel will soon be directed to undertake energy-saving measures in the face of possible rolling blackouts nationwide during what is forecast to be a harsh winter.

South Korean officials said last month the temporary shutdown of two nuclear reactors for safety checks and the extended closure of a third where tiny cracks were discovered will erode energy reserves.

As a result, Reuters reported, South Korea might be forced to conduct rolling blackouts “in the public sector” if power-generating capacity falls to dangerous levels.

USFK officials said they are bracing for potential blackouts while aiming to conserve energy at the more than 100 American military bases across the peninsula.

“In order to ensure military readiness, safeguard the health and wellness of our force and prevent a blackout on the Korean peninsula, we are working closely with our Republic of Korea counterparts in establishing theater-wide policy regarding winter energy conservation, similar to our summer power-saving campaign,” USFK said in a statement this week.

Details will be released soon, USFK said.

The summer campaign encouraged USFK personnel to save energy by not setting air conditioners too low, cutting the times street lights were on and turning off electronic displays in the middle of the night.


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