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South Korean nuclear reactor enters commercial operation

Staff writer |
Plant operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced today that following eight months of commissioning tests, the unit had been declared as being in commercial operation.

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Construction began on Shin Wolsong 2 in 2008 and was completed in 2013, but South Korea's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) withheld permission for the reactor to start up following a discovery in May of that year that safety-related control cabling with falsified documentation had been installed at four reactors.

The NSSC approved the restart of the other affected reactors - Shin Kori units 1 and 2 and Shin Wolsong unit 1 - in January 2014 after the completion of recabling work.

Fuel loading began at Shin Wolsong 2 - a 1050 MWe OPR-1000 reactor - last November after the NSSC finally issued an operating licence to KHNP for the reactor. It was subsequently connected to the grid on 26 February.

In April, the unit completed a test run at 100% output, after which it was taken offline for maintenance.

Shin Wolsong 2 was restarted in mid-June and final safety checks and commissioning tests have since been completed.

South Korea now has 24 operating nuclear power reactors with a combined generating capacity of 21,716 MWe. Together they account for about 22.5% of the country's total power capacity.

A further four units - all featuring APR1400 reactors - are currently under construction, which will add another 5600 MWe of generating capacity by 2018. More units are planned.