Unit 2 of South Korea’s Shin Hanul NPP in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, has received operational approval from the Nuclear Safety & Security Commission (NSSC). The review process began on 28 July. NSSC confirmed that the reactor had met the criteria for approval under Article 21 of the Nuclear Safety Act and would start a six-month trial operation later in September. Upon successful completion of the test, it will undergo pre-use inspections by the Commission before commercial operations. It will be South Korea’s 28th nuclear power unit and the first new nuclear reactor to begin operating under the Yoon Suk Yeol administration.

The 1,400 MWe Shin Hanul 2 is a Korean-designed APR1400, construction of which began in 2010 after a basic plan was confirmed in 2005. In December 2014, the reactor, along with Shin Hanul 1, applied for an operating permit. Shin Hanul 1 began commercial operation in December 2022. Shin Hanul 2 is expected to contribute to stabilising Korea’s power supply once it becomes operational, as it will account for about 2% of total power generation capacity. In June, South Korea also approved a plan to resume construction of units 3&4 at the Shin Hanul NPP. The two units, which had been approved in 2002 under the Kim Dae-jung administration, were cancelled in 2017 as part of President Moon Jae-in’s nuclear phase-out policy. However, the nuclear phase out has been reversed by current administration of President Yoon.

Image: Units 1 and 2 at the Shin Hanul NPP in South Korea (courtesy of KHNP)