KEPCO to expand Korean LLW repository

26 May 2014

Aerial view of the 2nd phase of the Korean nuclear waste repository, close to the Woslong nuclear power plant

KEPCO Engineering & Construction has been selected to build the second phase of a repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in South Korea. The first phase is due to be completed next month.

The Korea Radioactive Waste Agency (KORAD) awarded the contract in April, following a competitive tendering process. Hyundai Engineering and Daewoo Engineering & Construction were also involved in the final stage of bidding.

Korea's L/ILW repository is being built at Yangbook-myeon, Gyeongju City, about 370 km Southeast of Seoul and close to the Wolsong nuclear power plant. The facility ultimately aims to store 800,000 drums of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste, and will be the first in the world to host both silo-type and near surface radioactive repositories on the same site, KEPCO E&C says.

"The underground phase of the repository began construction in April 2008 and is expected to be completed by June 2014."

The underground phase of the repository began construction in April 2008 and is expected to be completed by June 2014. The silo, built 130 meters below sea level, will hold 100,000 drums (capacity 200L) of low- and intermediate-level waste.

The second phase of the facility, to be built by KEPCO E&C under the recent contract, is a near surface repository that will store 125,000 drums of radioactive waste. This phase is scheduled to finish construction in December 2016, KEPCO says.

Radioactive waste in South Korea is currently stored at the country's four reactor sites: Hanbit, Hanul, Kori and Wolsong. However, with stores nearing capacity KORAD began accepting waste drums at the repository site in late 2010, and is storing them above ground until the repository is commissioned.

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Photo: The second phase of the Korean LILW repository, close to the Wolsong nuclear power plant (Source: KEPCO E&C)

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