Reserve breached before breakfast

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Reserve breached before breakfast

Korea saw its electricity reserve plunge below the critical level of four million kilowatts yesterday morning, forcing it to issue a power alert at 8:36 a.m. before many energy-guzzling plants and companies had fired up.

The early-morning notice set alarm bells ringing at power management companies and government offices as they forecast earlier that energy consumption would not reach its peak until between 11 a.m. and noon this month.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said households used more electricity for heating yesterday as they experienced subzero temperatures the day before. The power reserve went back up above the four-million-kilowatt level at 11:45 a.m. Making matters worse, the heads of organizations responsible for managing the electricity supply are either out of the country or currently non-existent.

Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo is due to return from the U.S. today and visit Yeonggwang nuclear power plant in South Jeolla to make sure two reactors there can resume operations this month.

By Lee Sun-min []
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