Fuel loading under way at Shin Kori 3

04 November 2015

The loading of fuel into the core of unit 3 at South Korea's Shin Kori plant has begun, plant owner Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced today. The unit - featuring the country's first APR-1400 reactor - is expected to enter commercial operation in mid-2016.

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

Having been issued with an operating licence for the unit by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission on 29 October, KHNP said that workers have now started loading the 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor. This process is expected to take about nine days to complete, the company said.

Once fuel loading is complete, commissioning tests will then be conducted. These tests involve checking the unit's performance as its output is gradually increased to full capacity. Hot functional tests will also be carried out to ensure the reactor's primary circuit is working correctly at normal operating temperatures and pressures. Further tests will check the unit's performance in various abnormal operating conditions. KHNP said it expects to complete all these tests in about seven months, when the unit will then enter commercial operation.

Shin Kori 3 - construction of which began in October 2008 - will be the first Korean-designed Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400) to start up. Unit 4 at Shin Kori - also an APR-1400 - is expected to start operating in early 2017. Unit 3 had originally been due to begin operating at the end of 2013, with unit 4 following in September 2014. However, their operation has been delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and the subsequent replacement of that cabling.

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. First concrete for unit 1 took place in July 2012, with that for unit 2 following in June 2013. Those units are expected to enter service in April 2017 and February 2018, respectively.

Two further APR-1400 units are planned for both the Shin Kori and Shin Hanul sites.

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