Final shutdown approaches for Korea's oldest reactor

09 June 2017

The permanent shutdown of unit 1 of the Kori nuclear power plant has been approved by the South Korea's nuclear safety regulator. The unit - the country's oldest operating reactor unit - will be taken offline on 19 June.

Kori unit 1 - 460 (KHNP)
Unit 1 of the Kori plant (Image: KHNP)

Kori 1 is a 576 MWe pressurized water reactor that started commercial operation in 1978. A six-month upgrading and inspection outage at Kori 1 in the second half of 2007 concluded a major refurbishment program and enabled its relicensing for a further ten years. A subsequent relicensing process could have taken Kori 1 to 2027, but Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced in August 2015 that it had withdrawn its application to extend the unit's operating licence. In June last year, the company applied to decommission the reactor.

At a meeting today, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) approved the permanent shutdown of Kori 1. It said the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety - a technical support organisation to NSSC - had conducted technical reviews of KHNP's application. These reviews, it said, were focussed on examining whether the reactor could be safely maintained and managed after shutdown.

Based on final NSSC approval, KHNP will take Kori 1 off line at midnight on 19 June, making it South Korea's first nuclear power unit to enter the decommissioning phase.

The company is to submit a decommissioning plan for the unit within five years. NSSC said it plans to conduct regular safety inspections of the unit after its closure.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News