Doosan begins production of key components for Shin Hanul

17 May 2023

Doosan Enerbility's factory in Changwon in South Korea has marked the start of production of key components for units 3&4 of the Shin Hanul NPP. Construction of the units was suspended in 2017 but is now expected to begin again in 2024. The ceremony to mark the start of production of the main components for Shin Hanul 3 and 4 was attended by, among others, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) CEO Whang Joo-ho, South Gyeongsang Governor Park Wan-soo and Doosan Enerbility's chief operation officer Jung Yeon-in.

In March, KHNP and Doosan Enerbility signed a 10-year KRW2.9tr ($2.2bn) contract to supply the main equipment for Shin Hanul 3&4. Doosan Enerbility will supply the nuclear reactors, steam generators and turbine generators for the two APR1400 units. The Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) announced that production of the main equipment will begin “in earnest” immediately. "From this month, orders for auxiliary equipment worth KRW2tr will also begin". The auxiliary equipment includes pumps, valves, pipes and cables. A total of 349 kilometres of pipes and 8,872 kilometres of cables are expected to be required.

MOTIE added: "In line with the government's stance of completely normalising the nuclear power plant ecosystem within the year, KHNP will join forces with Doosan Enerbility to increase the construction rate for the first year, and contribute to improving the management conditions of nuclear power companies and maintaining a healthy supply chain by disbursing the completed funds according to the construction rate as quickly as possible."

In 2014, KHNP signed an agreement with Ulchin County to build Shin Hanul 3&4 and applied for a construction licence for the units in 2016. That year. Kepco Engineering & Construction (E&C) signed a design contract for the project. Site preparation was expected to begin May 2017 for commercial operation of unit 3 to start in December 2022 followed by unit 4 a year later.

However, KHNP in 2017 ordered Kepco E&C to suspend work after newly elected President Moon Jae-in announced plans to phase out nuclear power. This policy was reversed by President Yoon Suk-yeol, who assumed power in May 2022. Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy Lee Chang-yang subsequently adopted plans to boost South Korea's nuclear power industry, including a target for work on Shin Hanul 3&4 to resume. Completion of unit 3 is scheduled for 2032 and for unit 4 in 2033.

Lee told the ceremony at Doosan Enerbility's headquarters: "One year after the government's renewed push for the nuclear power industry, I would say Korea’s nuclear power plant ecosystem has been fully restored.” At the event, Doosan Enerbility showed work, which was underway, to forge a 200 tonne alloy steel blank produced using its own furnace, where a 17,000 tonne press has also been installed.

Image: Doosan Enerbility's factory in Changwon, South Korea, has started production of key components for units 3&4 of the Shin Hanul nuclear power plant (courtesy of Doosan Enerbility)

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