SEOUL Jan 2 South Korea will restart this week
a second nuclear reactor which was shut for two months to
replace parts found to have forged quality documents, but power
supplies remain a concern as peak winter demand is expected to
remain through February.
The state-run Nuclear Safety & Security Commission said in a
statement on Wednesday that it had approved the restart of the
second of two 1,000-MW reactors in Yeonggwang county that were
shut down in November following the forged certificates scandal.
The reactor will resume operation late on Wednesday, and
will take a day to operate at full capacity, said Korea Hydro &
Nuclear Power, the subsidiary of state-run Korea Electric Power
Corp's which runs the nuclear industry.
The commission had approved on Monday the restart of the
first reactor at Yeonggwang, 300 km (186 miles) southwest of the
South Korea's nuclear sector has been involved in a series
of minor incidents and the scandal over forged certificates for
parts used in what the government insists are non-essential
operations - events which led to the closure of the two reactors
Three other reactors with a combined electricity generating
capacity of 2,680-megawatt (MW) also remain offline, which has
raised concerns about power supply as winter bites.
South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, depends heavily
on oil and gas imports but its reactors supply a third of its
power. Public support for nuclear power remains strong despite
the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, and South Korea plans to
add another 11 reactors by 2024.
The Korean government has been campaigning nationwide to
save energy and avoid power blackouts in the colder than usual
(Additional reporting by Eunhye Shin; editing by Miral Fahmy)