South Korea Shuts Nuclear Reactors over Fake Certificates

Created: 2013-05-30 07:03 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

South Korea said on Tuesday it was suspending the operations of two nuclear power reactors and extended a shutdown of a third to replace cables that were supplied using fake certificates.

[Lee Un-chul, Nuclear Safety and Security Commission]:
"After analyzing safety, we found out that control cables didn't show proper performance under high-temperature and pressure which accidents, such as refrigerant loss, can occur. So, we decided to suspend the operations of Shin Kori-2 and Shin Wolsong-1 reactors."

South Korea previously halted the operations of some 23 reactors last November after a scandal emerged over parts being supplied using fake documents.

The Asian country is heavily dependent on oil, gas and coal imports, but usually gets a third of its electricity from nuclear power generation.

The reactors, which each have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, would remain closed for about four months, the government said.

The government warned there could be "unprecedented" electricity shortages and rolling blackouts this summer due to the nuclear shutdowns.

[Han Jin-hyun, Vice Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy]:
"We expect unprecedented supply shortage this summer as we have to meet power demand while three reactors are halted."

Last year, South Korea was forced to take power saving measures to avoid blackouts after it closed two reactors to replace parts also supplied with fake documents and extended the shutdown of another reactor where microscopic cracks were found.

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