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Shin Hanul Unit 1, the 27th new nuclear power plant in Korea, has recently begun full-scale commercial operation after 12 years of construction.
It was originally supposed to start operating in 2017, but its completion was delayed as safety requirements and quality standards were strengthened after the earthquake in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.
It is also known as the ‘nuclear power station of Korea’ because it managed to locate the core facilities of nuclear power stations.
Reporter Kim Yoon-mi went to the Shin-Han-ul nuclear power plant.
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A new nuclear power plant has been built on the coast of Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province.
This is the 27th nuclear power plant in Korea.
This is Unit 1 of Shinhanul, which has just started commercial operation.
23% of the electricity used in Gyeongbuk is produced here.
Shin Han-ul was named ‘Shin’ in front of the next generation Korean nuclear power plant design.
The power generation capacity has been increased by 40% and the life is designed to be 20 years longer.
What does the inside of a nuclear power plant look like?
I went inside the nuclear reactor, the heart of Twin Unit 2, which is being built in the same way as Unit 1.
When you open the huge iron door, you can see a huge dome with a diameter of 46 meters on the ceiling.
The height is 76 m from the ground.
It’s as tall as the 24th floor of an apartment building, and it feels like you’re in a giant ball.
The wall thickness of the reactor building is 1 meter 22 cm, and it is made of thick concrete to prevent radiation leaks.
It is a situation where nuclear fuel has not yet been entered, and on both sides you can see a steam generator that produces steam with heat heated by nuclear fission and a control rod that controls the rate of nuclear fission.
Making core equipment such as reactor coolant pumps with our own technology is also an achievement.
“We will try to be of great help to exports by operating with safety as the main priority.”
Shinhanwool, which began construction in 2010, was delayed by five years due to stricter safety requirements following the Fukushima earthquake and the Gyeongju earthquake in Japan.
The exterior walls of the building were not painted for safety reasons.
“When it is painted, it is difficult to check the changing characteristics of the concrete structure, so we leave it as it is and inspect it from time to time.”
With the completion of Shin Hanul Unit 2 next year and the addition of Shin Hanul Units 3 and 4, which President Yoon Seok-yeol decided to re-promote, the number of operational nuclear power plants in Korea is expected to increase to 30.
The government plans to increase the proportion of nuclear energy produced from the current 27% to 32.4% by 2030.
The problem is that there is still no place to permanently store the spent nuclear fuel produced from these nuclear power stations.
Currently, all power plants store it in an internal temporary water tank, but even the Shin Hanul Unit 1 water tank, which has a design life span of 60 years, has a storage capacity of only 20 years.
This is Kim Yoon-mi from MBC News.
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