UPDATE 1-S.Korea regulator approves restart of 3 reactors

Thu Jan 2, 2014 6:42am EST

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By Jane Chung

SEOUL Jan 2 (Reuters) - South Korea's nuclear regulator on Thursday approved the restart of three reactors halted in May to replace cables supplied using forged certificates.

Asia's fourth-largest economy has sought to secure stable power supply ahead of winter demand which peaks this month to make up for power lost due to a nuclear safety scandal.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said in a statement that substandard cables had been replaced and that it had approved the restart of three reactors.

The Shin Kori No.1, Shin Kori No.2 and Shin Wolsong No.1 each have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW).

Shin Kori No.1 and Shin Wolsong No. 1 will operate at full capacity from Jan. 7, while Shin Kori No. 2 is likely to operate fully from Jan. 12, the regulator said.

South Korea has 23 nuclear reactors, which generate about a third of its electricity. The restart of the three reactors would leave three nuclear reactors still offline.

In May last year, a scandal over nuclear safety emerged after some parts were found to have been supplied using fake documents.

Some 100 people were indicted and the country's dependence on nuclear power has come under increased scrutiny.

The energy ministry unveiled an energy policy draft in early December in which the government is looking to lower the share of nuclear in its energy mix. The government aims to finalise its policy revision this month.

(Reporting by Jane Chung; editing by Tom Hogue and Jason Neely)

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