South Korea is a leader in Nuclear power and Japan considers restarting and Germany temporarily restarts some reactors

1. South Korea’s reactors are capable of giving technology powerhouses like the US and Japan a run for their money.

As of today, a total of 21 nuclear power plants have been built around the country, the sum of which provide South Korea with 18,716MW of power, accounting for nearly 23.9 per cent of its total energy capacity and 31 per cent of total electricity consumption.

The South Korean government expects this number to increase to 60 per cent by 2035, with the additional nuclear reactors currently under construction and 10 more in the pipeline.

A model of the nuclear power plant to be built in the UAE.

Construction of the first two of South Korea’s home-grown Generation III APR1400 reactors — Shin Kori 3 and 4 — was authorised in 2006, with the first concrete on Unit 3 being poured in October 2008. It is the APR1400 which was selected by the UAE to serve as the basis of the Emirates’ budding nuclear energy programme. When completed in 2013 and 2014, respectively, Shin Kori Units 3 and 4 will serve as the reference plant for the reactors under construction in the UAE. The Shin Ulchin 1 & 2 reactors, authorized by the government for construction in April 2009, are expected to be completed by 2016.

2. Japan aims to restart two nuclear reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co’s Ohi power plant around April, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday, which would mark the first reactor restart since the Fukushima disaster almost a year ago.

However, all but one of Osaka-based Kansai’s 11 reactors at three nuclear plants are shut. The utility is barely meeting demand during the current winter season with the help of customers’ power-saving and assistance from other utilities.

The government aims to restart operations at Ohi plant’s No. 3 and No. 4 reactors before the final active reactor in Japan is due to shut by the end of April for regular maintenance, the Yomiuri said, citing several government sources.

3. Japan’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday postponed the completion of its review on stress tests on the first pair of dozens of idled reactors, an initial step in rebuilding public trust in atomic energy after the worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

4. The cold snap gripping Europe has forced Germany, which last year decided to abandon nuclear power, to restart several nuclear reactors that were taken off line, the daily Handelsblatt reports in its Thursday issue.

Eight of Germany’s 17 reactors have already been switched off and the nine reactors currently on line are due to be turned off between 2015 and 2022.

Five of the eight reactors shut down are serving as reserve generators in case electricity demand cannot be met from other sources.

In December, Germany imported power from neighbouring Austria to stabilise its network.

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