Sites agreed for four more South Korean reactors

21 November 2014

Two South Korean municipalities have each agreed to host two new nuclear power reactors. Ulchin County has approved construction of units 3 and 4 at the existing San Hanul plant, while Yeongdeok County has approved a new two-unit plant.

A ceremony was held today, attended by prime minister Chung Hong-won, during which Ulchin County signed an agreement with Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) allowing the construction of two more units at Shin Hanul.

Under the agreement, in exchange for hosting the new units, KHNP will provide the county with KRW 280 billion ($250 million), mainly to be used for improving local infrastructure, with the remainder for building new schools and hospitals.

Six reactors are already in operation at the Hanul/Ulchin plant in Ulchin County, having started up between 1988 and 2005. A further two units are under construction at the nearby Shin Hanul plant and should both be in operation by April 2018.

With the signing of today's agreement, KHNP can now prepare for construction of Shin Hanul units 3 and 4, two further APR1400s. Construction of these will start in 2017 at the earliest, with both expected to be operating by 2022.

Prime Minister Chung said, "Understanding the national energy policy, we thank the county for their cooperation in providing a nuclear power plant site." He described the signing of the agreement as a "win-win milestone" for the country and the local area.

He was quoted by the Korea Herald as saying, "The deal is meaningful since it has been reached after prolonged negotiations. It will serve as a new landmark for resolving energy and regional problems together."

Chung noted, "Considering our poor natural resources and manufacturing-oriented economic structure, nuclear power is inevitable when considering our greenhouse gas reduction obligations."

South Korea currently has 23 nuclear power reactors in commercial operation with a combined generating capacity of 20,656 MWe. Nuclear accounts for about one-third of the country's electricity production.

New site

Meanwhile, Yeongdeok County in North Gyeongsang province in western Korea has also signed an agreement for the siting of a new two-unit plant.

Yeongdeok has been designated as a potential site for a nuclear power plant comprising up to four large reactors for almost the past 13 years.

For hosting the new plant, the county will receive payments totalling KRW 1.5 trillion ($1.3 billion) from KHNP over 60 years.

Construction of the new plant could start by 2022.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News