Korean government approves used fuel storage expansion

24 August 2020

The South Korean government has approved the expansion of used fuel storage at the Wolsong nuclear power plant in Gyeongju after four years of delay Korean media reported.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) had approved the construction of seven additional used fuel storage structures at the Wolsong plant in January after Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) said the existing storage was 93.1% full. KHNP said it risked running out of space by the end of 2021, which could force it to take some reactors offline.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it had reported the plan to a policy review and coordination meeting chaired by the prime minister based on positive results of a poll of resident representatives near the power plant in Gyeongju. However, civic groups and residents in Ulsan City adjacent to the site are continuing to protest.

KHNP said it plans to form a council in which Gyeongju City and resident representatives participate to discuss regional support measures. “Feedback from residents showed the need for more communication, with efforts under way to provide text messages and set up special electronic billboards around the nuclear plant for real-time information sharing,” the ministry said.

The on-site dry storage facility at Wolsong for its four Candu pressurised heavy water reactors comprises MACSTOR/KN-400 (Modular Air-Cooled Storage 400) modules for the fuel after six years of cooling in pools. The existing seven modules of MACSTOR-400 have a total capacity of 168,000 bundles. KHNP originally applied in April 2016 to add the seven more modules. KHNP expects construction of the seven additional modules to take at least 19 months to complete.



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