Unit 1 at South Korea’s Shin Hanul NPP in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, began full operation on 6 December, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co (KHNP). Unit 4 at the Hanbit NPP in South Jeolla Province, which has been shut down since 2017, has also resumed operation. The two reactors are expected to boost South Korea’s energy production in the winter season as they can produce electricity equivalent to six or seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants.
Construction of Shin Hanul 1 began in 2012 and it was originally scheduled to begin commercial operation in April 2017. However, the plan was delayed after an earthquake struck Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, obliging the government to evaluate site safety and strengthen the quality of equipment.
The Shin Hanul 1 APR1400 reactor achieved technological independence through localisation of key facilities such as the reactor coolant pump and main control room. The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission is to discuss the resumption of Hanbit 4. The reactor had been suspended from operation for more than five years after 140 cracks were found during a regular inspection in 2017.
Image: Shin Hanul units 1 (left) and 2 (courtesy of KHNP)