Fuel has been loaded into Shin-Kori unit 1 for the first time, and the reactor is ready to begin commercial operation in late December, according to Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.
The fuel loading, which begun on 1 June, has now been completed and the reactor “will begin producing power in earnest after going through stage-by-stage testing and maintenance procedures for commercial operation,” KHNP said in a June statement.
Shin-Kori 1 will be Korea’s first Improved Korean Standard Nuclear Plant (OPR1000+). KHNP says the design is 9% safer and more economic than the original OPR1000, which was last built at Ulchin 5&6. Several new construction techniques have been used during the construction of Shin-Kori 1&2, including the composite structure method and the automated welding of the coolant pipes of a reactor vessel (both firsts in Korea).
Shin-Kori 1 is scheduled to become Korea’s 21st commercially operating reactor in December 2010. Currently the country’s 20 reactors supply some 35% of Korea’s electricity.
KHNP expects that by the end of 2011, once Shin-Kori 1&2 have both started commercial operation, Korea’s carbon dioxide emissions will be cut by some 1%.
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