South Korea restarts 1400-MW nuclear reactor

Nuclear energy is a cost-saving energy for the net energy importer.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Dec. 20, 2016 at 1:28 PM
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SEOUL, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A nuclear reactor that was shut down in August was restarted Tuesday and began producing a full-scale power supply, according to South Korea's nuclear power agency.

Construction on the Shin Kori No. 3, described as Seoul's first export-type nuclear power plant, began in 2007 along with work on the Shin Kori No. 4 and is identical to the nuclear power plant that was exported to the United Arab Emirates in 2009, South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday.

The 1,400-megawatt No. 3 plant is located in Ulsan, about 190 miles from Korea's second-largest city Busan and is the 25th nuclear reactor to be in operation.

The nuclear power agency said in a statement the power plant now has an extended life span of 60 years, up by 20 years since the shutdown.

The plant's capacity has also increased from a previous 1,000 megawatts, and can produce 10.4 billion kilowatts of energy annually. This generation amounts to about 2 percent of total domestic power generation, according to 2014 data, and is equivalent to supplying the adjacent Gyeongnam region as well as the cities of Busan and Ulsan with 12 percent of required electricity.

The Shin Kori plant was also renovated to withstand stronger earthquakes that measure up to 7.0 in magnitude. Before maintenance work was done the plant could resist earthquakes of up to 6.5 in magnitude, Yonhap reported.

According to the World Nuclear Association, South Korea's nuclear reactors provide about one-third of the country's electricity, and are a cost-saving strategy for the net energy importer.

South Korea imports 96 percent of energy by ship, and energy represents one-third of all imports.

Seoul is also building four nuclear reactors in UAE under a $20 billion contract.

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