South Korea has approved a plan to resume construction of units 3&4 at the Shin Hanul NPP in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province. Shin Hanul 3&4 are APR1400. The total construction cost is KRW11,680bn ($9.2bn) and the project is scheduled to run until October 2033.

The plan was approved at a meeting of the Power Development Project Promotion Committee. The meeting included officials from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (Motie), the Ministry of Strategy & Finance, the Ministry of Science & ICT, the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Public Administration & Security, the Ministry of Agriculture & Food, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Maritime Affairs, the Fire Administration and the Forest Service. The approval of the plan included 20 licensing and permitting procedures under the jurisdiction of 11 ministries required for the construction of NPPs.

The two units, which had been approved in 2002 under the Kim Dae-jung administration, were cancelled in 2017 as part of President Moon Jae-in’s nuclear phase-out policy. However, the nuclear phase out has been reversed by current administration of President Yoon which reduced the approval time for implementation of the construction plan to 11 months. This is a 19-month reduction compared with an average 30 months for the previous three nuclear construction projects (Saeul 3&4, Shin Hanul 1&2 and Saeul 1&2).

Under the current Tenth Basic Electricity Supply Plan, Shin Hanul 3&4 are scheduled to be completed in 2032 and 2033. However, the timing will depend on how long it takes to obtain construction approval from the Korean Nuclear Safety Commission. Relevant ministries, including the commission, are reportedly discussing the approval process after setting the time of the application for approval for the two nuclear reactors at July 2022.

According to Motie, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) plans to start the site grading work immediately and plans to “quickly proceed” with the construction contract for auxiliary equipment and main facilities. “After that, if the construction permit, which is under review by the Nuclear Safety and Security Committee (NSSC), is obtained, the main construction work, such as the excavation work for the nuclear reactor facility, is scheduled to begin immediately.”

In March, KHNP and Doosan Enerbility signed a KRW2,900bn a 10-year contract for the supply of the main equipment for Shin Hanul 3&4 and 4. Doosan Enerbility will supply the nuclear reactors, steam generators and turbine generators. A ceremony to mark the start of production of the main components was held in May.

Image: Artist’s impression of Shin Hanul 3 and 4 (courtesy of KHNP)