No date has been set for restart of the Gori-1 reactor

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

No date has been set for restart of the Gori-1 reactor

테스트

Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik, center, yesterday inspects the Gori-1 nuclear power plant that was temporarily shut down on April 13 because of an electrical malfunction. By Song Bong-geun


A glitch that resulted in the temporary shutdown of Korea’s oldest nuclear reactor and led to heightened concern over the safety of the country’s nuclear reactors was due to an aging spring coil inside a circuit-breaker, according to nuclear authorities yesterday.

No date has been set for putting the Gori-1 reactor back on line amid growing caution by local officials and lawmakers about its reactivation.

The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, which inspected the 33-year-old Gori-1 reactor with its operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, said yesterday that the malfunction of the reactor on April 12 occurred after a circuit-breaker burned out due to an electricity overload.

The institute said an aging spring coil in the circuit-breaker failed to stabilize the movement of internal terminals, leading to the electricity overload.

The circuit-breaker helps regulate the electricity system to pump containment cooling water.

A reserve circuit-breaker that was supposed to kick in also did not function, the institute said.

The power company had announced it would reactivate the Gori-1 reactor last Friday, but operation of the 587,000-kilowatt reactor is still suspended due to an ongoing inspection.

The institute said it is determining whether the malfunction has affected other operating systems at the reactor.

The Gori-1, the oldest of 21 commercial nuclear reactors in Korea, started operating in April 1978 at the Gori Nuclear Power Plant in Gijang County, northeastern Busan.

The reactor’s operation was suspended when its initial life-cycle expired in June 2007, but the next year, the government approved an extension of its operations for 10 more years.

The KHNP has claimed the electrical malfunction last week is a minor glitch that could happen to reactors every five years on average and has no effect on any possible radiation leak.

But this has failed to curb voices calling for permanently shut down the reactor amid heightened nuclear safety in the wake of the Japan’s nuclear crisis.

Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik visited the Gori plant yesterday with other city officials to check on the safety condition of the reactor. He also called for a thorough safety check of the reactor.

“The reactor should be reactivated after the causes of the malfunction are clearly determined and the perfect safety measures are secured,” Hur said during the visit.

“We are concerned over the malfunction of the Gori-1 that coincided with the growing concern over local nuclear plants after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident,” Hur said.

Kim Young-hwan, a lawmaker from the major opposition Democratic Party, who chairs the National Assembly’s knowledge economy committee, called a press conference yesterday, at which he questioned the 2008 decision to extend operation of the plant.

“It is a lie that Gori-1 reactor, which was judged unfit in destructive testing in 2005, is OK now because it passed tests relying on non-destructive standards,” Kim said. “Rather than being obsessed with life extension, they should dispose the reactor.”

The power company said yesterday that it is considering commissioning a special inspection by the UN or an overseas nuclear safety testing agency on the safety of the Gori-1 reactor to ease the growing public distrust in Korea about extensive operation of old nuclear reactors in the wake of Fukushima disaster.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

고리1호기 가동중단 원인은 ‘부품결함’

예비용 차단기 작동 불능에 비상발전기 가동
조사범위 확대…안전.비안전계통 영향 조사

지난 12일 가동이 중단된 고리원전 1호기(설비용량 58만7천kW급, 가압경수로형)는 전원을 공급하는 차단기의 부품결합이 고장의 원인인 것으로 드러났다.

한국원자력안전기술원(KINS)는 고리1호기 발전에 필요한 각종 펌프(냉각재펌프, 급수펌프 등)에 전원을 공급하는 차단기 내부 연결단자를 고정하는 스프링의 장력에 문제가 있었던 것으로 조사됐다고 18일 밝혔다.

고장 발생 이후 KINS과 한국수력원자력, 차단기 제조회사인 현대중공업, 한전 전력연구원 등이 합동으로 사고원인조사를 해왔으며 스프링 장력이 부족해 연결단자에 과부하가 생겨 차단기가 불 탄 것으로 결론 내린 것으로 확인됐다.

또 차단기가 고장이 날 경우 작동해야할 예비용 차단기가 있었지만 작동하지 않은 것으로 조사됐다.

예비용 차단기가 작동하지 않은 이유는 고장난 차단기가 열에 의해 불타면서 눌어붙어 스위치가 끊어지지 않아 정상적으로 전류가 흐르는 것으로 인식한 것으로 분석됐다.

다행히 예비용 차단기의 작동 불능에 대비해 준비된 비상용 디젤발전기가 가동하면서 전원을 공급해 발전에 필요한 전기계통(비안전계통)의 시스템에 문제가 생기지 않은 것으로 파악됐다. 당시 원자로의 안전과 관련된 전기계통(안전계통)의 전원공급에는 문제가 없었던 것으로 나타났다.

KINS는 고리1호기에서 발생한 고장으로 비안전계통과 안전계통의 시스템에도 영향을 미쳤는지 확인하는 작업이 진행중이기 때문에 현재로서는 정확한 재가동시점을 알 수 없다고 밝혔다.

KINS는 "원전시설은 정기적으로 점검을 통해 건전성을 확인했기 때문에 전체 시설을 대상으로 정밀점검을 할 필요가 없다"면서 "조사기간을 정해 조사를 할 수 없지만 원전 전체를 정밀조사하는 것은 아니다"라고 말했다.

KINS 관계자는 "이번 조사는 고장으로 어떤 계통에 영향을 받았는지 재가동에 영향은 없는지 철저히 조사하고 특히 이번 고장이 부품의 품질문제인지, 시공문제인지, 운영상 문제인지 파악해 재발을 방지하기 위한 목적도 있다"고 설명했다.

정영익 한국수력원자력 고리원자력본부장은 "우리는 고장난 부품을 교체했고 성능테스트와 안전검사까지 모두 마쳐 가동을 위한 준비는 완료했다"면서 "우리가 제대로 작업을 했는지 현재 KINS에서 정밀하게 조사하고 있다"고 말했다.

정 본부장은 "KINS에서 교과부에 보고할 서류를 작성하고 있는 것으로 안다. 교과부에서 고리1호기 재가동 승인이 나면 발전을 할 계획"이라고 덧붙였다.

More in Social Affairs

Green religion

Flu vaccines left out of the fridge, program halted

Mount Halla's fir forest is withering

Moon issues stern warning to potential Foundation Day protesters

Prosecutors raid homes of Choo's son and others implicated in scandal

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now