Unit 4 of South Korea’s Shin-Kori nuclear power plant, an APR-1400, was connected to the electricity grid on 22 April, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced. It is the second such reactor to begin operation.
Shin-Kori 3 became the first APR-1400 to begin supplying electricity to the grid in January 2016. The APR-1400 designed by Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) supercedes the standardised 995 MWe OPR-1400 design, of which South Korea built 12.
The power level of Shin-Kori 4, a 1340MWe pressurised water reactor, will now be gradually increased to full capacity during the commissioning process and should be ready to begin commercial operation around mid-August, according to KHNP.
Construction of Shin-Kori 3&4 was authorised in 2006 and first concrete for was poured Shin-Kori 3 in October 2008 and for unit 4 in August 2009. Unit 3 was initially scheduled to begin commercial operation at the end of 2013, followed by unit 4 in September 2014. However, operation was delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement. Shin-Kori 3 eventually achieved criticality in December 2015, was connected to the grid in January 2016 and entered commercial the following December.
KHNP had expected to load fuel into Shin-Kori 4 in January 2018, but this was delayed because of the need for slight improvements in the unit's design discovered during commissioning work. Additional seismic assessment work was also carried out in response to recent earthquakes: Gyeongju in September 2016 and Pohang in November 2017. Fuel loading at Shin Kori 4 eventually began in February 2019.
Construction of two further APR-1400 reactors at Shin Kori - units 5 and 6 - began in April 2017 and September 2018 for operation in 2022 and 2023. Two further APR-1400 reactors are under construction in South Korea as units 1 and 2 of the Shin Hanul site.
Photo: Jung Jae-hoon, president of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., visited the Shin-Kori 4 on on April 24 to mark the grid connection (Credit: KHNP)