S.Korea Predicts Power Cuts as Nuke Reactors Shut

From Google News

By Jung Ha-Won

SEOUL — South Korea was forced to shut down two nuclear reactors on Monday to replace components that had not been properly vetted, a minister said, warning of “unprecedented” power shortages to follow.

Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-Woo said the “non-core” components posed no safety threat and were unrelated to a string of systems malfunctions at reactors this year that triggered calls for a safety review.

The two affected units at the Yeonggwang nuclear complex may remain offline until early January, as engineers replace more than 5,000 fuses, cooling fans and other parts for which suppliers had provided faked quality certificates.

“Comprehensive safety check-ups are necessary at these two reactors where the uncertified parts were used extensively,” Hong said.

“It’s inevitable that we will experience unprecedented power shortage during the coming winter with the two reactors shut,” he added.

South Korea operates 23 nuclear power reactors which meet more than 35 percent of the country’s electricity needs. It plans to build an additional 16 reactors by 2030.

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