Korean Christian activists protest nuclear power and weapons

(Photo REUTERS / Kori Nuclear Power Plant / Handout)The Kori nuclear power plant in Busan, southeast of Seoul, is seen in this picture released by the plant to Reuters on April 14, 2011. South Korea's oldest nuclear reactor has been shut down due to a glitch in the plant's electric circuits, an official said on Thursday, amid rising concerns about nuclear safety after Japan's nuclear crisis. There were no radiation leaks from the plant on the peninsula's southeast coast, the operator said. Reactor One at the Kori nuclear power plant, which began operation in 1978, has been down since Tuesday when the electric circuit malfunction was discovered and repairs will likely continue through Friday, the power plant official said, asking not be named.

Korea's neighbor Japan has had the misfortune of being the only country to suffer from nuclear fallout due to both acts of war and natural disaster.

And that worries many people across the sea from Japan on the Korean peninsula.

(Photo: WCC)South Korean pastors and peace activist fasting and praying in downtown Busan, protesting against nuclear radiation and asking to shut down South Korea's Kori Nuclear Power Plant in October 2013.

Pastors and Peace Activists are holding a 40-day "fasting prayer" in front of City Hall in Busan, South Korea protesting the dangers of nuclear radiation.

Their fast is ahead of the 10th Assembly the World Council of Churches Assembly, starting Wednesday in South Korea's second biggest city, the churches body that represents some 560 million Christians worldwide said in a statement on its website.

The activists are peacefully protesting the dangers of nuclear radiation, specifically from South Korea's oldest and incident-prone Kori Nuclear Power Plant.

Local residents and protestors are asking for the plant to shut down, as it has a record of breaking down 120 times.

There are 3.4 million people living within 30 kilometers (19 miles) of the nuclear plant. Residents fear a meltdown, similar to Fukushima in Japan after the massive earthquake and tsunami in in April 2011 and Chernobyl in Ukraine in April 1986.

The protestors are seeking to remind the world that South Korea has the highest geographic density of nuclear power plants in the world.

Korean Christians participating in the "fasting prayer" want to show the world's Christians that the WCC assembly is taking place in the most dangerous part of the world in terms of nuclear threats.

These come from nuclear power plants and from the nuclear stand-off involving the United States, Russia, China, Japan and North Korea.


Protestors want the WCC assembly to focus on the issue of nuclear weapons.

"The WCC raises ecumenical concerns and advocates at various levels of national and international governance for nuclear disarmament, control of the spread of other weapons of mass destruction, and accountability under the international rule of law, and fulfillment of treaty obligations," the global church body says in a statement on its website.

Greenpeace activists protested again the Kori Nuclear Power Plant in June and warned that if it fails, people living within 30 kilometers could be exposed to extreme radiation, the Korea Times newspaper reported on July 22.

Busan lies across a strait from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two only cities to experience nuclear bombing, by the United States in 1945.

In addition massive quantities of radioactive water are still seeping into the ocean from the Fukushima plant on Japan's Pacific coast every day.

The "fasting prayer" and protest began on September 30 and will continue through November 8, the final day of the WCC assembly.

Korean ministers and peace activists included prayers during their fasting such as, "We repent that our lives have caused catastrophic problems for the ecology and have threatened the survival of all humankind by indiscreet use of nuclear energy.

"We pray that a world of peace is realized and the dignity of life is protected as we convert nuclear energy into renewable natural energy."

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