Wolsong Nuclear Power Complex

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Last Updated: August 29, 2017
Other Name: 월성 원자력발전소; Wolseong Nuclear Power Complex; Wŏlsŏng Nuclear Power Complex
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate To: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 6 power reactors
Facility Status: Operational

The Wolsong Nuclear Power Complex has six reactors, four of which are Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR), and two of which are OPR-1000. [1]

CANDU reactors use heavy water as both a moderator and a coolant, and natural uranium for fuel. [2] The Wolsong reactors are CANDU-6 designs with a power output in the 700 MW(e) range. Wolsong-1 was constructed under the first phase of South Korea's nuclear power program on a turnkey basis. [3] Wolsong-2 through -4 were constructed under the third phase of South Korea's nuclear energy development program to achieve self-reliance in nuclear technology. Under this phase, South Korea planned to standardize the design of its nuclear power plants and achieve technological self-sufficiency. Although the plan called for the standardization of pressurized light water reactors (PWR), South Korea planned to implement a two reactor policy in order to diversify the country's sources of nuclear power, thus using the Canadian heavy water design. [4]

Shin Wolsong-1 and -2 are two of six OPR-1000 reactors in South Korea. OPR-1000 is a rebranded version of the Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KSNP)/KSNP+ design, based on technology from South Korea's original eight pressurized light water reactors (PWR). [5] The units are targeted for export to Asian markets, and specifically Vietnam and Indonesia.

Wolsong-1 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 월성 원자력발전소 1호기; Wolseong-1 Nuclear Power Reactor; Wŏlsŏng-1 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 657 MW(e) pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR)
Status: Operational

Wolsong-1 is South Korea's first of four CANDU pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR). Canada supplied most of the necessary technology and equipment, including the reactor, construction services, architecture and design, while the British firm NEI Parsons provided the steam and turbine generators. [6] Construction began in 1975, and the reactor commenced commercial operations in April 1983. [7] Wolsong-1 has been operating slightly below capacity at 622 MW(e) since 2004. [8]

Wolsong-1 experienced several incidents in which the reactor leaked heavy water. In 1984, 23 tons of heavy water leaked, and in 1988 a pinhole puncture in a monitoring line forced the reactor to be shut down for three days. [9] Additionally, 20 liters of cooling water leaked in May 2000, exposing several technicians to radiation. [10]

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) and the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) are seeking to extend the lifetime of Wolsong-1 beyond the originally planned 30-year lifetime. In November 2003, officials from KHNP announced plans to replace the pressure and feeder tubes in Wolsong-1 and to upgrade the reactor's safety features. [11]

Wolsong 1 is scheduled to close in 2022. [12]


Wolsong-2 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 월성 원자력발전소 2호기; Wolseong-2 Nuclear Power Reactor; Wŏlsŏng-2 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 647 MW(e) pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR)
Status: Operational

Wolsong-2 is South Korea's second of four CANDU pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR), and the twelfth nuclear power reactor to have been constructed. Canada provided most of the equipment and services for Wolsong-2, including the reactor and major components of the steam supply system. The Korea Heavy Industries and Construction Company (Hanjung) and General Electric Company (GE) jointly manufactured the turbine generator. [13] Construction for Wolsong-2 began in 1992 and it commenced commercial operations in July 1997. [14]


Wolsong-3 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 월성 원자력발전소 3호기; Wolseong-3 Nuclear Power Reactor; Wŏlsŏng-3 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 651 MW(e) pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR)
Status: Operational

Wolsong-3 is South Korea's third of four CANDU pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR). [15] Canada provided most of the equipment and services for Wolsong-3, including the reactor, architect engineering services, design and construction. The Korea Heavy Industries and Construction Company (Hanjung) and General Electric Company (GE) jointly manufactured the turbine generator. [16] Construction for Wolsong-3 began in 1994, and it commenced commercial operations in July 1998. [17]

On 4 October 1999, Wolsong-3 leaked 40 to 50 liters of heavy water from a damaged seal on a pump undergoing maintenance, exposing 22 workers to low levels of radiation. Following this incident, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), [now the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST)], and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), embarked on a research program to strengthen CANDU safety regulations. [18] Additionally, beginning in late 2000 MOST and KINS required CANDU reactors to be shut down during periodic safety reviews and service outages, although CANDUs are designed to stay on-line during refueling. [19]


Wolsong-4 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 월성 원자력발전소 4호기; Wolseong-4 Nuclear Power Reactor; Wŏlsŏng-4 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 653 MW(e) pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR)
Status: Operational

Wolsong-4 is South Korea's fourth CANDU pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR). [20] Canada provided most of the equipment and services for Wolsong-4 including the reactor, architect engineering services, design and construction. The Korea Heavy Industries and Construction Company (Hanjung) and U.S.-based General Electric Company (GE) jointly manufactured the turbine generator. [21] Construction for Wolsong-4 began in 1994, and it commenced commercial operations in October 1999. [22]

South Korean government and utility officials initially considered ordering more CANDU reactors under the plan to construct two additional units at the Wolsong site. However, in late 2000 South Korea decided to stop ordering CANDUs and focus on developing the Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (APR). [23]


Shin Wolsong-1 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 신월성 원자력발전소1호기; Sin Wolseong-1 Nuclear Power Reactor; Shin Wŏlsŏng-1 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 997 MW(e) Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Shin Wonsong-1 is an indigenously designed OPR-1000 reactor which began commercial operations on 31 July 2012. [24]


Shin Wolsong-2 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 신월성 원자력발전소2호기; Sin Wolseong-2 Nuclear Power Reactor; Shin Wŏlsŏng-2 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 993 MW(e) Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Shin Wonsong- 2 is an indigenously designed OPR -1000 reactor which began commercial operation on 24 July 2015. [26]

Sources:
[1] "Korea, Republic of: Nuclear Power Reactors -Alphabetic," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org; "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org; An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, www.koreaherald.com.
[2] Wm. J. Garland, "How and Why Is CANDU Designed the Way It Is?" CANDU Owners Group, February 2003, http://canteach.candu.org.
[3] "50 Years of Nuclear Energy 50 Years of Prosperity," Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 9 April 2009, http://english.mest.go.kr.
[4] "50 Years of Nuclear Energy 50 Years of Prosperity," Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 9 April 2009, http://english.mest.go.kr; "Wolseong Nuclear Power Generation," Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, www.khnp.co.kr/wolsong.
[5] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[6] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[7] "CANDU Reactors: Wolsong 1, 2, 3, 4," Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), www.aecl.ca.
[8] "50 Years of Nuclear Energy 50 Years of Prosperity," Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 9 April 2009, http://english.mest.go.kr.
[9] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - WOLSONG-1," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[10] "Nuclear Leaks Forces Temporary Plant Shutdown in South Korea," Power Asia, 7 November 1988, p. 12, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; "Publication Review: Korean Nuclear: A Lesson on How to Get it Right," Power Asia, 19 October 1992, p.1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[11] Park Bang-ju, 월성1호기 냉각수 유출 [Radiation Leaks at ROK's Wolsong-1 Atomic Power Station]," Joongang Ilbo, 23 February 2002, news.joinsmsn.com.
[12] "Wolseong Nuclear Power Generation," Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, www.khnp.co.kr/wolsong.
[13] World Nuclear Association, “Nuclear Power in South Korea,” July 2017, www.world-nuclear.org.
[14] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - WOLSONG-2," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; "Wolsong-2 Reactor Starts Commercial Operation," Nuclear News, August 1997, p. 31, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[15] "50 Years of Nuclear Energy 50 Years of Prosperity," Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 9 April 2009, http://english.mest.go.kr.
[16] "CANDU Reactors: Wolsong 1, 2, 3, 4," Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), www.aecl.ca; "AECL, Canatom Win Dollars 500m N-Plant Orders from Korea," Power Asia, 5 October 1992, p. 15, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[17] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - WOLSONG-2," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; "Wolsong-3 Goes Commercial at Beginning of July," Nuclear News, August 1998, p. 28, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[18] "South Korea: Wolsong-3 Has Small Leak," Nucleonics Week, 7 October 1999, p. 18, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; "Heavy-Water Spill at Wolsong-3 Ranked as Anomaly," Nuclear News, November 1999, p. 54, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[19] Mark Hibbs, "Korean Regulators Order PHWRs, Like PWRs, Shut for Periodic Checks," Inside NRC, 6 November 2000, p. 6, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[20] "50 Years of Nuclear Energy 50 Years of Prosperity," Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 9 April 2009, http://english.mest.go.kr.
[21] "CANDU Reactors: Wolsong 1, 2, 3, 4," Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), www.aecl.ca.
[22] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - WOLSONG-4," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[23] Mark Hibbs, "KEPCO Plans First 1,400-MW PWRS at Shin-Kori, Four Units by 2012," Nucleonics Week, 5 April 2001, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[24] Yoon Woo-hee, 신월성 1호기 본격적인 시운전 START! [Shin Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant 1 started test-operation]," GJI News, 27 February 2010, www.gjinews.co.kr.
[25] International Atomic Energy Agency, “Nuclear Power Reactor Details – SHIN-WOLSONG-1,” IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), 24 July 2017, www.iaea.org.
[26] International Atomic Energy Agency, “Nuclear Power Reactor Details – SHIN-WOLSONG-2,” IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), 24 July 2017, www.iaea.org.

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