Seoul, June 19: Korea permanently shuts down its oldest commercial nuclear reactor on Monday as part of a broader policy move to end the country's reliance on atomic power. The move denote the first occasion when that Asia's fourth-biggest economy stopped power production from one of its nuclear power generation facilities.
The South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy informed that the Kori-1 reactor, which had been running for the past 40 years, was closed as of 12 a.m. Monday. "The government will carry out a decommissioning and dismantling process for the next 20 years”, Ministry added.
On Monday by 12 a.m. having a total capacity of 587 megawatts, the facility was officially suspended as its temperature dropped to 90 C from the normal 300 C level as the commercial operations were first started in 1978.
The operator of the country's nuclear power supply facilities the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP) to shut off the power supply line of the facility on Saturday and began cooling down the reactor.
To demolish the reactor in 2019, the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) will map out a detailed plan along with the scheme likely to get approved by Korean government panel by 2022. With restoring the site to being a radioactive-free area, it will take more 15 years to transfer the used nuclear fuel to a separate storage space.
Earlier after some 40 years of activity, the South Korean government has decided to permanently shut down the facility. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has pledged to close all nuclear power plants in the country.
South Korea now has a 24 nuclear reactor except the decommissioned Kori-1 reactor. Their combined capacity reaches 23,116 megawatts and accounts for 21.8% of the country's total power capacity.