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Shin Hanul nuclear reactor to begin operation

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Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Plant in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province / Korea Times file
Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Plant in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province / Korea Times file

By Kim Jae-heun

Shin Hanul reactor 1 in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, will go into full operation Tuesday to help the country deal with soaring electricity demand in the winter, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co, (KHNP) Monday.

Hanbit 4, another nuclear reactor which has been shut down since 2017, has also resumed operation in South Jeolla Province.

The two reactors are expected to give big help in the country's energy management in the winter season as they can produce electricity equivalent to six or seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants.

The construction of Shin Hanul reactor 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 in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, as the government had to evaluate site safety and strengthen the quality of equipment.

"Shin Hanul reactor 1 will start its commercial operation on Dec. 6 and it will be a great help to stably supply electricity during the winter," a government official said.

Shin Hanul 1 is a large-scale nuclear reactor with a power generation capacity of 1,400 megawatts. It is the same Korean nuclear reactor (APR1400) that was exported to the United Arab Emirates. The reactor achieved technological independence through localization of key facilities such as the reactor coolant pump and main control room. The government plans to hold an event in mid-December to commemorate the completion of Shin Hanul 1.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission will also discuss the resumption of Hanbit 4 at a meeting to be held on Dec. 8. The reactor has been suspended from operation for more than five years after 140 cracks were found during a regular inspection in 2017.

Kim Jae-heun


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