Wolseong reactor gets IAEA okay

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Wolseong reactor gets IAEA okay

After conducting a 10-day inspection of the No. 1 reactor at the Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded yesterday that the reactor is in “very good condition.”

“Through the review of available documents, presentations and discussions with staff of the Nuclear Power Plant as well as after numerous walk-downs, the IAEA team confirmed that the plant has done extensive work in the field of long-term operation and ageing management and the plant was found in very good condition,” the IAEA said in a statement yesterday.

The inspection into the country’s second oldest reactor took place at the request of the state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. after it shut it down early this year due to a machinery flaw. The United Nations agency formed a team of seven experts - including from Canada, the Czech Republic, India and Switzerland - and performed an in-depth review from May 29.

The IAEA said that the inspection team has found good practices at the reactor such as its procedure for electrolytic capacitor replacement and structural life management system. The team, however, also suggested some areas of improvement such as ensuring that “the periodic safety review procedure is consistent with the latest IAEA safety guide” and “improving the documents management system.”

“The plant staff were found to be motivated, well-trained, knowledgeable and experienced,” said Robert Krivanek, the inspection team leader.

The Wolseong No. 1 reactor is approaching the end of its 30-year operational life in November.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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