Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) said on 13 October it had completed loading nuclear fuel assemblies into unit 1 of the Shin-Hanul NPP in South Korea.
KHNP obtained permission to load fuel from the Nuclear Safety & Security Commission (NSSC) in July. After loading of 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor, KHNP is conducting reactor physics and systems testing under normal operating temperature and pressure conditions. KHNP expects commercial operation for Shin-Hanul 1 in 2022.
Ground breaking for the first two units at Shin Hanul (formerly Shin Ulchin) took place in May 2012. First concrete for unit 1 was poured two months later, and for unit 2 in June 2013. The 1350 MWe pressurised water reactors were originally expected to enter service in April 2017 and April 2018. Following delays, fuel loading in unit 1 had been scheduled for June 2019 but was delayed pending safety checks by the Nuclear Safety and Security Committee (NSSC) and some modifications. Commercial operation of unit 1 was then expected in July 2021, and unit 2 in May 2022, but there have been further delays.
Shin-Hanul 1, which has a capacity of 1400MWe, is the 27th nuclear power unit in South Korea and the fifth APR1400 reactor approved for commercial operation in the world, followed by Shin-Kori units 3 and 4, and units 1 and 2 at the Barakah nuclear power plant (NPP) in the United Arab Emirates.
Currently, five other APR1400 reactors are under construction, including Shin-Hanul 2, Shin-Kori 5&6, and Barakah 3&4. Once they are completed, there will be ten APR1400 reactors operating in the world with 14GWe capacity.
In November 2017, the European Utility Requirements (EUR) certificate was issued to KHNP for its EU-APR design – a modified design of the APR1400 – demonstrating the design met European codes and standards. The APR1400 also received a Standard Design Approval and a Design Certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2019 – the first foreign reactor design to achieve such approval. Shin-Hanul 1 is the first reactor constructed using domestically developed reactor technologies, including reactor coolant pumps and digital control systems.
While KHNP leads the APR1400 project, it has support from a robust supply chain, known as Team Korea, which includes Doosan Heavy Industries, Kepco Engineering and Construction (Kepco E&C), Hyundai E&C, Samsung C&T, Korea Nuclear Fuel and Kepco Korea Plant Service.