Commissioning of second Korean APR1400 postponed

10 August 2017

Completion of unit 4 of the Shin Kori nuclear power plant has been delayed by ten months, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) has said. The APR1400 reactor is now expected to start up in September 2018.

Units 3 and 4 at Shin Kori - 460 (KHNP)
Shin Kori units 3 and 4 (Image: KHNP)

Shin Kori 4 was originally planned to be completed this November. However, it is now scheduled to be completed next September, KHNP said in a statement responding to recent media reports about a delay in the unit's commissioning.

The delay, the company said, was decided in March and reflects slight improvements in the unit's design resulting from commissioning work carried out so far. Additional seismic assessment work is also to be carried out in response to the Gyeongju earthquake in September last year.

Construction of the first pair of APR1400 reactors - Shin Kori 3 and 4 – was authorised in 2006, although the actual construction licence was not issued until April 2008.

First concrete for Shin Kori 3 was poured in October 2008, with that for unit 4 following in August 2009. Unit 3 was originally scheduled to enter commercial operation at the end of 2013, with unit 4 due to start in September 2014. However, their operation was delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement.

Unit 3 eventually reached first criticality in December 2015, was connected to the grid in January 2016 and entered commercial operation in December.

KHNP completed cold hydrostatic testing and hot functional testing of Shin Kori 4 in November 2015 and April 2016, repectively. The company now expects to load fuel into the unit next January, with commercial operation beginning in September.

Two more of the 1350 MWe pressurized water reactors are under construction as units 1 and 2 of the Shin Hanul site in South Korea. Those units are expected to enter service in April 2018 and February 2019, respectively.

Two further APR-1400 units had been planned for both the Shin Kori and Shin Hanul sites. However, KHNP announced in May that it had suspended design work for the planned units 3 and 4 at the Shin Hanul until South Korea's new government announces its policy on the construction of new reactors. Last month it also decided to temporarily suspend construction of Shin Kori 5 and 6.

Four more APR-1400s are under construction at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates. All four are scheduled to be in operation by 2020.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News