Gori-2 nuclear reactor, second from right [Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea will suspend Gori-2 nuclear reactor next month for safety inspections and equipment improvements as it seeks to renew permit resume opertions, the industry ministry said Wednesday.
The country’s third nuclear power plant, which began commercial operation on April 9, 1983, is set to cease operations next week as its 40-year permission will expire on April 8.
The temporary shutdown is inevitable as the procedure for operational extension require around three to four years to complete, said the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, adding the start of the procedure for continued operation of the reactor was delayed due to the former government’s policy of phasing out nuclear power.
The ministry said that Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, the operator of the reactor, aims to resume operations by June 2025 as far ahead of schedule as possible, subject to ensuring safety. KHNP plans to apply for a change in the operating permit for the Gori-2 with the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission later this month.
The target date for resuming operation is not yet confirmed and KHNP plans to focus on early resumption of operation through diligent review response and prompt safety investment, the ministry added.
The ministry also said measures have been taken to expedite the application for continued operation, while preventing cases such as the reactor suspension and ensuring that the operator and the regulator have sufficient time to confirm safety.
The revised enforcement decree of the Atomic Energy Safety Act, which was revised in December last year, stipulates that an application for continued operation of a nuclear power plant must be made at least five years and up to ten years before the expiration of its operating license.
The ministry said that if the Gori-2 resumes operation, there will be a stabilizing effect on electricity bills as it is the cheapest source of power generation.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]