South Korea’s AP1400 nuclear reactor approved by Europe

European Utility Requirements (EUR) has approved modifications Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co Ltd (KHNP) has made to its APR1400 reactor design, according to Reuters. The approval by EUR – a technical advisory group for European utilities on nuclear power plants – means South Korea’s state-run nuclear operator can further expand its export markets.

Gaining the EUR approval will allow KHNP to build the European compliant model in countries that require EUR certification outside of Europe such as South Africa and Egypt, KHNP said today. The changes modify how the APR 1400 cools itself in the case of an emergency.
KHNP, which is owned Korea Electric Power Co (Kepco), operates all of South Korea’s 24 nuclear power plants.

Construction of the first pair of APR1400 reactors – Shin Kori 3 and 4 in South Korea – was authorised in 2006, although the actual construction licence was not issued until April 2008. First concrete for Shin Kori 3 was poured in October 2008, with that for unit 4 following in August 2009. Unit 3 was originally scheduled to enter commercial operation at the end of 2013, with unit 4 due to start in September 2014. However, their operation was delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement. Unit 3 eventually reached first criticality in December 2015, was connected to the grid in January 2016 and entered commercial operation in December. Unit 4 is now expected to start up in September 2018.

Four more APR1400s are under construction at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates. All four are scheduled to be in operation by 2020.

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