South Korea Forces Down Nukes

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 @ 05:11 PM gHale

South Korea shut down two nuclear reactors after officials found out some parts the plants used did not go through the proper certifications, an official said

Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo said these were “non-core” parts and were not a safety threat.

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They included fuses, cooling fans and power switches that did not have the required nuclear industry certificates.

The shutdown means there could be “unprecedented” power shortages in the next few months, Hong said.

The more than 5,000 parts could see use in other industries but they need international certification for nuclear power plant usage, he said.

Almost all the parts were at the Yeonggwang Nuclear Power Plant, in the southwest, where the two reactors ended up shut down.

“Comprehensive safety check-ups are necessary at these two reactors where the uncertified parts were used extensively,” the minister said.

“It’s inevitable that we will experience unprecedented power shortage during the coming winter with the two reactors shut.”

He said the parts, worth $750,000 came from eight suppliers since 2003.

South Korea’s 23 nuclear reactors, which supply 35% of the country’s electricity, have experienced a series of malfunctions over the past few months.

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