SEOUL Jan 9 South Korea's nuclear operator said
on Thursday it had been told to extend the shutdown of a nuclear
reactor to improve safety after two workers drowned this week
when the water level in a drain rose.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co Ltd was ordered by a local
labour office to keep the plant closed until it had strengthened
safety for workers after the deaths on Monday.
The 1,000-megawatt Hanbit No. 5 reactor had already closed
for scheduled maintenance due to run from Dec. 12 to Jan. 19.
South Korea has been under pressure to ensure stable power
supply due to a nuclear safety scandal which led to shutdowns of
some nuclear reactors in a country where about a third of its
electricity comes from nuclear power.
Ahead of peak winter demand this month, the nuclear
regulator last week approved the restart of three reactors shut
since last May to replace cables supplied with fake safety
Asia's fourth-largest economy has 23 nuclear power plants.
Of the 23, three are offline including the Hanbit No. 5.
A second is awaiting an extension of its licence after its
30-year lifespan expired in November 2012 and another is shut
for scheduled maintenance extended to mid-January to repair
cracks found on the reactor head.
(Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Ed Davies)