South Korea Restarts Nuclear Reactor, First Time in 3 Years

kpopluv, June 23, 2015, 9:25 a.m.

An idled nuclear reactor was restarted for the first time in three years Tuesday, its operator said, in the first instance of a heavywater reactor being given a renewed status in the country. The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. said it put the Wolseong-1 reactor in Gyeongju, South Gyeongsang Province, back into operation at 2 p.m. for the first time since it went offline in November 2012.

In October, the state-run Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (NSSC) completed an inspection of the reactor and concluded that it can be operated for another 10 years. The NSSC had delayed announcement of its decision amid mounting concerns over the reactor's safety, after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

The decision cleared the way for the 678-megawatt Wolseong-1 reactor to go back on line following 30 years of commercial operation. South Korea has 23 nuclear reactors in operation, from which it gets about 30 percent of its electricity supply, and is building several more.

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