The Shin Wolsong 1 OPR-1000 unit, construction of which began in November 2007, started up and was connected to the grid in January 2012. The final stages of commissioning tests began on 24 June. A 'performance guarantee test' confirmed that the unit generates its designed output. KHNP subsequently received approval from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission for the reactor to enter full-scale commercial operation.
Its sister unit, Shin Wolsong 2, is expected to start up next month and enter commercial operation in January 2013.
South Korea now has 23 nuclear power reactors in commercial operation with a combined generating capacity of 20,787 MWe.
A ceremony was held on 21 July to mark the pouring of first concrete at Shin Ulchin 1, marking the official start of construction of the Korean-designed Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400), Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced. Groundbreaking for the first two units at the site took place in early May. First concrete for unit 2 is set to follow in about a year.
Government approval for the 7 trillion won ($6.2 billion) project to build Shin Ulchin units 1 and 2 was given in April 2009. Major contracts related to the plant's construction were signed in March 2010, with detailed site studies starting the following month. The reactor ipressure vessel is scheduled to be installed in unit 1 in June 2014. Unit 1 is expected to be completed in April 2017, with unit 2 expected to be finished in April 2018.
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