Nuclear operator to close Wolsong-1, nullify construction plans

By Yonhap
  • Published : Jun 15, 2018 - 16:55
  • Updated : Jun 15, 2018 - 16:55

South Korea’s nuclear power operator will close the Wolsong-1 unit before the end of its life cycle and nullify the construction plan of four new plants, its chief executive said Friday.

Chung Jae-hoon, CEO of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, said its board of directors approved the plans, in line with the government’s nuclear phase-out plan.

The 30-year operational life cycle of Wolsong-1 in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, ended in 2012, but it was extended for another 10 years to 2022. It is now the nation’s oldest reactor, following the permanent shutdown of Kori-1 in June 2017, and has remained idle since May for maintenance. Its power generation accounts for a mere 0.6 percent of the total, according to the company. 

Wolsong-1 (Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power)

The KHNP also approved abandoning plans to build four nuclear reactors on the southeastern coast.

The Shin Hanul 3 and 4 units, which were scheduled to be built in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, received construction approval in February 2017, while the process to push for the Cheonji 1 and 2 units in Yeongdeok, south of Uljin, did not proceed far.

The KHNP said it will ask the government to compensate its costs after conducting legal reviews.

“The board of directors agreed that (the KHNP) should ask the government for compensation on legal and reasonable losses,” Chung said. “The government said it will review our request based on related regulations.”

The government has pledged to scrap new nuclear programs and won’t extend the life cycles of existing facilities to decrease the number of reactors to 14 in 2038. It was included in the government’s long-term energy supply plan in December.

South Korea currently has 24 nuclear reactors generating about one-third of its electricity, and two more are under construction. (Yonhap)