Hanaro research reactor to undergo retrofitting

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Hanaro research reactor to undergo retrofitting

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) on Thursday ordered the state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (Kaeri) to retrofit the Hanaro reactor used for nuclear research because it did not meet national seismic standards.

The order came after the commission finished its review of the seismic capacity report it received in December.

According to Korea’s nuclear reactor safety law, all reactors should be designed to sustain a 6.5-magnitude earthquake.

However, according to the report, about 4.8 percent of the external walls of the Hanaro reactor could only sustain an earthquake of magnitude 6.4.

The Hanaro reactor, located on the Kaeri campus in Daejeon, is currently not operational because it is undergoing regular maintenance.

Kaeri is the sole developer and operator of the reactor, which generates 30 megawatts of power, 1 percent of that of a commercial reactor.

Due to the NSSC order, the reactor will be shut down for at least seven more months, during which time the walls will be reinforced. The NSSC then will inspect the reactor to decide whether operations can resume.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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