First Korean APR-1400 nuclear reactor enters commercial operation

The first Korean-designed Advanced Pressurised Reactor-1400 (APR-1400) officially entered commercial operation on 12 December. Unit 3 of the Shin Kori nuclear power plant in the south east of South Korea was connected to the grid in January.

Shin Kori units 3 and 4 (Image: KHNP)

Construction of Shin Kori 3 began in October 2008. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) was issued with an operating licence for the unit by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission in late October 2015. The reactor achieved first criticality on 29 December and was connected to the grid on 15 January.

KHNP noted in a statement today that the start of commercial operation at Shin Kori 3 brings the total number of power reactors in operation in South Korea to 25. Together they have an installed capacity of 23.1 GWe and represent 22.1% of the country’s total generating capacity.

“In addition, Shin Kori 3 will produce about 10.4 billion kWh of electricity annually, which will account for about 12% of the power in Busan, Ulsan and Gyeongnam,” KHNP said.

Operation of unit 4 at Shin Kori – also an APR-1400 – is expected to be approved during the first half of 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 was delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement.

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. 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.

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