Fuel loading began at unit 3 of South Korea's Shin Kori plant on 3 November, according to plant owner Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP).
Construction of Shin Kori 3, Korea's first Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400), began in October 2008 and it is expected to enter commercial operation in mid-2016. The unit received an operating licence from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission on 29 October. It will be South Korea's 25th nuclear unit.
Loading the 241 fuel assemblies is expected to take about nine days, the company said. Once complete, commissioning tests will as the unit's output is gradually increased to full capacity. Hot functional tests will also be carried out to ensure the reactor's primary circuit is working correctly at normal operating temperatures and pressures. Further tests will check the unit's performance in various abnormal operating conditions. KHNP said it expects to complete all these tests in about seven months.
Unit 4 at Shin Kori - also an APR-1400 - is expected to start operating in early 2017. Operation of both units has been delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and the subsequent replacement of that cabling.
Two more APR-1400s are under construction as units 1 and 2 of the Shin Hanul site. First concrete for unit 1 took place in July 2012, and for unit 2 in June 2013. They are expected to enter service in April 2017 and February 2018, respectively. Two further APR-1400 units are planned for both the Shin Kori and Shin Hanul sites.
Photo: Shin Kori 3&4 (Credit: KHNP)