Nitrogen leak kills three at Ulsan reactor

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Nitrogen leak kills three at Ulsan reactor

Three workers at the construction site for the Singori No. 3 reactor in Ulsan died due to asphyxiation on Friday evening, authorities reported.

According to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP), the state-run operator of the Gori nuclear power complex, a nitrogen gas leak at the construction site caused the employees to pass out. They were discovered by a security guard patrolling the area at about 5 p.m. Two were immediately rushed to the Dongnam Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, while the third was taken to the Busan Gijang Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

According to KHNP, one of the workers was an employee of Hyundai E&C, the reactor’s primary builder, while the other two were employees of Daegil Construction, an Ulsan-based supplier for Hyundai E&C.

The men were working on pipelines in the basement of the auxiliary facility where they were found. An official at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy confirmed that the accident was unrelated to the recent cyberattacks carried out by an unidentified hacking group. Officials added that no radioactive materials were leaked.

BY LEE TAE-KYUNG, KIM JI-YOON [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]




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