Fabrication begins of main equipment for Shin Hanul 3 and 4

15 May 2023

A ceremony has been held at Doosan Enerbility's factory in Changwon, South Gyeongsang, to mark the start of production of the main components for units 3 and 4 of the Shin Hanul nuclear power plant. Construction of the units - plans for which were suspended in 2017 - is due to begin next year.

An artistic impression of Shin Hanul 3 and 4 (Image: KHNP)

In November 2014, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) signed an agreement with Ulchin County to build Shin Hanul 3 and 4. The company applied for a construction licence for the units in January 2016. Site preparation for the two units was scheduled to begin May 2017, with commercial operation of unit 3 scheduled for December 2022, with unit 4 following a year later.

However, KHNP announced in May 2017 that it had instructed Kepco Engineering & Construction - which signed a design contract in March 2016 - to suspend work for the planned Shin Hanul 3 and 4 units as a result of the then new President Moon Jae-in's policy of phasing out nuclear power. Work towards licensing the new units was to continue.

President Yoon Suk-yeol - who assumed power in May 2022 - vowed to reverse former President Moon Jae-in's policy of phasing out nuclear power. In July last year, Yoon encouraged a speedy restoration of the country's "nuclear power plant ecosystem" after Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang set out plans for revitalising South Korea's nuclear power industry, including the aim for work on Shin Hanul 3 and 4 to resume as early as 2024.

In March this year, KHNP and Doosan Enerbility signed a KRW2.9 trillion (USD2.2 billion) contract for the supply of the main equipment for Shin Hanul 3 and 4. Under the contract - which will run for 10 years - Doosan Enerbility will supply the nuclear reactors, steam generators and turbine generators for the two APR1400 units.

South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced that production of the main equipment "will begin in earnest today".

It added, "From this month, orders for auxiliary equipment worth KRW2 trillion will also begin". The auxiliary equipment includes pumps, valves, pipes and cables. A total of 349 kilometres of pipes and 8872 kilometres of cables are expected to be used in the project.

"In line with the government's stance of completely normalising the nuclear power plant ecosystem within the year, KHNP will join forces with Doosan Enerbility to increase the construction rate for the first year, and contribute to improving the management conditions of nuclear power companies and maintaining a healthy supply chain by disbursing the completed funds according to the construction rate as quickly as possible," the ministry said.

The ceremony to mark the start of production of the main components for Shin Hanul 3 and 4 was attended by, among others, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang, KHNP CEO Whang Joo-ho, South Gyeongsang Governor Park Wan-soo and Doosan Enerbility's chief operation officer Jung Yeon-in.

"The promise of our government to promptly and efficiently resume the construction of the two reactors has been fulfilled," Lee was cited by The Korea Economic Daily as saying at the ceremony. "One year after the government's renewed push for the nuclear power industry, I would say Korea’s nuclear power plant ecosystem has been fully restored".

Shin Hanul unit 3 is scheduled to be completed by 2032, and unit 4 by 2033.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News