South Korea has shut two nuclear reactors due to an influx of marine organisms just two weeks after restarting them from an earlier influx. This will add to the country’s demand for LNG as the government reiterates its commitment to reducing coal-fired power generation.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) said that the Hanul 1 and 2 reactors, each with a capacity of 950 MW, were shut on April 6 after an influx of marine organisms disrupted water pump operations. The same two reactors were shut for nine days in March due to an earlier influx. KHNP said that it could not say when the units would restart because the timing hinges on receiving approval from the country’s nuclear regulator, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission . However, given the experience in March, the two reactors are expected to remain closed for at least a week.
The Hanul nuclear complex, which has six reactors with a combined capacity of 5.9 GW, has had nine influxes of marine organisms resulting in reactor shutdowns since 1996, but, prior to March, the last incident was in 2006. A spokesman for KHNP said: “There were no reactor shutdowns for marine organism influxes for the past 15 years. We are currently investigating why such influxes are happening again.”