Unit 3 at South Korea’s Shin-Kori NPP near Busan was connected to the grid on 15 January and is expected to begin commercial operation in May, according to operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP).

The reactor achieved first criticality on 29 December 2015 and is currently undergoing commissioning tests as its output is gradually increased to full capacity.

Construction of Shin-Kori 3, Korea’s first domestically developed APR-1400 reactor to begin operation, began in 2008. The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission KHNP issued an operating licence for the unit on 30 October, and KHNP began loading 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor on 4 November.

Shin Kori 3 will be South Korea’s 25th operable power reactor. Unit 4 at Shin Kori – also an APR-1400 – is expected to start operating in early 2017. Unit 3 was originally scheduled for start up at the end of 2013, with unit 4 following in September 2014. However, their operation has been delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement.

Two APR-1400 reactors are under construction as units 1 and 2 of the Shin Hanul NPP, and are expected to enter service in April 2017 and February 2018. Two further APR-1400 units are planned for both Shin Kori and Shin Hanul.