Two South Korean nuclear power plants - Yonggwang and Ulchin - have been renamed in response to pressure from local fishermen who claimed that problems at the plants had damaged the image of their traditional catches.
|The Yonggwang plant is now known as the Hanbit plant (Image: KHNP)
State-owned utility Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) said that it has renamed its Yonggwang plant in South Jeolla province as the Hanbit plant. Meanwhile, its Ulchin plant in North Gyeongsang province had been renamed as the Hanul plant. Both the Hanbit and Hanul plants comprise six pressurized water reactors of about 1000 MWe each.
Phase 2 of the Ulchin plant - where construction has started on the first two of four APR1400 units planned there - is now known as Shin Hanul, rather than Shin Ulchin.
Fishermen near the Yonggwang plant catch yellow corvine fish and sell them under the name Yonggwang Gulbi, while the area around the Ulchin plant is known for its crabs. Residents near the plants signed petitions to have the facilities renamed claiming that problems at the plants led to a drop in their sales.
In late 2012, it was revealed that KHNP had allegedly been supplied with falsely-certified parts. The majority of those parts were installed at Yonggwang units 5 and 6, while the rest were used at Yonggwang units 3 and 4 and Ulchin unit 3. Yonggwang 5 and 6 were taken offline for several weeks while the parts were replaced. Parts at the other three units were replaced without taking them offline.
KHNP spokeswoman Choi Si-ye told the Korea Times that the company's decision to rename the plants "was made to respect residents' demands." She added, "We will spare no effort to improve ties with residents."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News