Uljin nuclear reactor shuts itself offA nuclear reactor in Korea’s southeastern region shut itself down after its operation system gave a warning signal, the state-run plant operator said late Thursday.
Reactor 1 at the Uljin Nuclear Power Plant automatically stopped operating at 6:41 p.m. Thursday, according to the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.
It shut down after a warning signal and the shutdown falls under a “zero” rating according to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards, it said.
The state-run operator said the halt of the reactor will not have any impact on the plant’s safety and it is unrelated to a radiation leak.
The operator immediately reported the shutdown to related government agencies.
The Uljin generator is a pressurized water reactor with a capacity of 950,000 kilowatts, and has been operating for 24 years since 1988.
Including a stoppage in December last year, the Uljin reactor has shut down 45 times in total.
The incident came only five days after the Shin Wolsung Nuclear Power Plant, also in North Gyeongsang, was halted due to a malfunction in its power supply facility.
Earlier this month, the Yeonggwang power plant in South Jeolla also automatically shut down due to problems.
More than 20 hours after the Uljin reactor stopped, the operator hadn’t found the cause.
“The latest malfunction of the reactor is classified as ‘zero’ grade accident as defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency, so there is no problem in its safety,” said an official at Korea Hydro.
“Power plants are designed to stop operation at occurrences of very minor malfunctions, so stopping the Uljin plant doesn’t mean it is dangerous. It is just a precaution,” said an official at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
Yet the government has not announced why the plant shut down. The latest inspection of the plant took place in May and no fault was found.
Earlier this month, controversy brewed after the government decided to extend the life of the Gori 1 Nuclear Plant in Busan, which is the country’s oldest, having been running for more than 30 years.
By Song Su-hyun [email@example.com]
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