S. Korea nuclear reactor unexpectedly shuts down amid spike in electricity demand

With electricity demand in South Korea surging due to a prolonged cold spell, the Uljin 1 nuclear reactor went into unexpected shutdown Jan. 17 due to a malfunction in the reactor’s energy system, Platts reports. This marks the second time in six months that the 950 MW reactor has shutdown due to malfunction at the Uljin nuclear power plant. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has said there is no immediate danger of a radiation leak at the plant.

Last year, according to Platts, South Korea experienced 15 temporary shutdowns due to malfunctioning equipment. Compounding difficulties from reactor shutdowns, the embattled South Korean nuclear sector has been shaken by scandal after two reactors were temporarily closed due to the discovery of counterfeit parts in use at the sites last year. Public confidence in nuclear power in South Korea has tumbled in response.

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