Fourth Korean APR-1400 begins commercial operation

08 April 2024

Unit 2 of the Shin Hanul nuclear power plant in South Korea has entered commercial operation, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced. The unit is the second of two APR-1400 reactors at the site, with a further two planned.

Shin Hanul units 1 and 2 (Image: KHNP)

Shin Hanul 2 received an operating licence from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission on 7 September last year, after which it completed a preliminary inspection by the regulator. The loading of 241 fuel assemblies into the reactor's core was carried out between 11 and 18 September. High-temperature functional tests were subsequently conducted.

The 1350 MWe pressurised water reactor reached first criticality - a sustained chain reaction - on 6 December and it was connected to the grid on 21 December.

Following seven months of commissioning tests, which included step-by-step power increase tests and performance tests of the reactor and turbine generator, Shin Hanul 2 was declared to be in commercial operation on 5 April.

Ground breaking for the first two units at the Shin Hanul (formerly Shin Ulchin) site took place in May 2012. First concrete for unit 1 was poured two months later, with that for unit 2 following in June 2013. Shin Hanul 1 achieved first criticality on 22 May 2022 and was connected to the grid on 9 June last year.

"With the commercial operation of Shin Hanul unit 2, Korea's 28th nuclear power unit, the total number of nuclear power units operating in Korea has increased to 26 (including Kori unit 2, which is being prepared for continued operation)," KHNP noted.

Shin Hanul 2 is South Korea's fourth operational APR1400 - after Saeul units 1 and 2 (formerly Shin Kori 3 and 4) and Shin Hanul unit 1. Two further APR1400s are under construction as Saeul units 3 and 4, with two more units planned as Shin Hanul units 3 and 4.

Four APR1400 units have been built at the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE, which are all now in operation.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News