New South Korean reactor comes on line
The last of South Korea’s 1000-MWe class reactors, Shin Wolsong 2, has been connected to the grid. It is expected to be in commercial operation in July. Construction started in 2008, but its completion was delayed by the need to replace sub-standard cabling.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) has built ten of these OPR-1000 reactors, which have come on line since 1998. They are based on Westinghouse technology, and eight similar predecessors have been running since 1985-96. The other four Wolsong units are Canadian Candu types. The four reactors remaining under construction are APR-1400 types, the same as KHNP’s parent company is building in United Arab Emirates at the Barakah plant. In South Korea, four planned units are the same, then the next four are to be more advanced APR+ types of 1500 MWe.
WNN 26/2/15. South Korea
Stand-off continues in Belgium
GDF Suez remains locked in earnest negotiation with the Belgian government over whether its two oldest Doel reactors will continue in service for another decade. While the government has agreed in principle to a ten-year licence extension for them, the company is unwilling to invest up to €700 million in the necessary upgrades unless the government gives some ground to provide a “clear legal and economic framework” to justify this. Negotiations include removal of the nuclear generation tax introduced by a previous government, which cost the company €397 million last year. Doel 1 was shut down precisely when its 40-year licence expired in mid February. The company says that it has ordered new fuel for Doel 1 and it could be restarted by the end of the year if agreement is reached with the government on a viable economic future for it.
At present unit 3 of Doel and unit 2 of Tihange are shut down pending resolution of uncertainties about the significance of flaws in their metal structure. The country depends on its seven nuclear reactors for about half its power. The plants are all operated by Electrabel, a GDF Suez subsidiary. The future of nuclear power in Belgium has been a political football for fifteen years, despite reasonably high public support.
WNN 12, 17 & 27/2/15. Belgium
Other papers significantly updated in the WNA Information Library (see WNA web site): Nuclear power in the world today
, Geology of U deposits
, Australia’s U deposits
, Radioactive waste - storage and disposal