South Korea facing blackouts amid nuclear woes

With summer temperatures climbing and six of its nuclear reactors offline, South Korea has warned that power shortages in the country may lead to blackouts if the grid is pushed any further, Reuters reports.

Three of South Korea’s nuclear reactors are offline for routine maintenance but six more are out of services while recently discovered counterfeit components are being replaced. The stress on the grid with six of South Korea’s 23 nuclear reactors online may require emergency measures, like rolling power outages, the energy ministry said. Industry is also being asked to scale back production during peak hours.

Nuclear power produces 30 percent of South Korea’s electricity and observers fear an additional outage could be enough to cause a repeat of the 2011 blackouts across the country. “If one nuclear reactor stops its operation all of a sudden, we may have to start rolling blackouts like we did on September 15, 2011,” said the country’s energy minister, according to Reuters. Such a measure would initially affect primarily residential areas, the news service reports.

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