Lawmakers grill nuclear power authorities over recent setbacks
The Shin Kori nuclear reactors 3 and 4 were supposed to be operational by next August or September, but the new start date will now be pushed back by up to a year.
Control cables, supplied by JS Cable, failed to pass quality assurance tests, which were conducted after power authorities received a tip in late April that fake test reports had been used in the reactors.
The control cable is a device that sends a signal to the safety system in the event of an accident at the plant.
The parts in question will have to be replaced, a process that is expected to take six months to one year.
Reactors 3 and 4 at the Shin Kori plant have a capacity of 1.4 million kilowatts each.
Experts say the postponement will create a more acute power shortage crisis next year compared to the one the country went through this past summer.
Power authorities project the disqualification of Shin Kori control cables will cost the Korean economy some three trillion won, or 2.8 billion U.S. dollars, in damage per year.
These new findings took center stage when the parliamentary committee for science and future planning met for an audit of power authorities Thursday.
"We will be losing 1.4 million kilowatts in each of the Shin Kori units because they won't be complete. Are you working on countermeasures?"
"Power authorities are working on them."
"The Japanese media reported that 40 percent of all nuclear power plant parts that Korea imports from Japan do not go through a safety inspection process, not even a check on related documents. Is this true?
"There were no safety checks. We at that time didn't have the authority to do a security check on the parts."
"The lawmakers also criticized the nuclear power authorities' tepid response to Japan's announcement that tons of radioactive water was leaking from the Fukushima power plant. They demanded that the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission do more to ensure nuclear safety, including conducting its own radioactivity tests on marine products from Japan."
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
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