Kori Nuclear Power Complex

View All South Korea Facilities

Last Updated: August 1, 2011
Other Name: 고리 원자력발전소; Gori Nuclear Power Complex
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate To: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 8 power reactors
Facility Status: 5 operational reactors, and three under construction

The Kori Nuclear Power Complex is slated to house ten reactors; five reactors are operational, while three are still under construction. Two others are slated for construction beginning in 2014.

Kori-1 and -2 are Korea's first and second "power reactors, respectively. The reactors were provided on a turnkey basis, but have different designs. Kori-1 and -2 were constructed under the first phase of South Korea's nuclear power program, in which foreign firms were contracted for the provision and construction of reactors, with Korean firms playing a minimal role in order to acquire technological know-how. [1] The primary goal of this first phase was for South Korean industries to gain the knowledge and expertise to manufacture the equipment and components for nuclear power plants. During this period, foreign capital was the primary source of financing nuclear power plant construction, so South Korea required potential contractors to provide financing sources with their bids.

Kori-3 and -4 are both three-loop pressurized light water reactors. Both were constructed under the second phase of South Korea's nuclear power program called "the component approach," in which foreign firms were contracted for the design and provision of main components, while domestic firms were subcontracted for auxiliary components. In addition, to increase self-sufficiency in nuclear power plant construction and technology, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) expanded its participation by leading the overall construction project with assistance from foreign firms and allowing Korean firms to manage site construction. [2]

Shin Kori-1 and -2 are 1000 MW(e) pressurized light water reactors based on an improved design of the Korea Standard Nuclear Plant (KSNP or OPR1000+) called the KSNP Plus. [3] Shin Kori-3 and -4 are Advanced Pressurized Reactors with a 1400 MW(e) generating capacity (APR 1400). The APR 1400s are two-loop pressurized light water reactors that were developed by making improvements and modifications to the KNSP. [4] Shin Kori-5 and -6 are of the same design; however construction is not scheduled to begin until 2014 and 2015 respectively. [5]

Kori-1 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 한국수력원자력주; Gori-1 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 576 MW(e) pressurized water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Kori-1 is South Korea's first nuclear power reactor, having commenced operation in 1978. [6] Kori-1 is a two-loop, Westinghouse pressurized light water reactor, and its sister plant is the Kewaunee nuclear power plant in Wisconsin, United States.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation was the primary project manager for the construction of Kori-1, but foreign firms providing the equipment design and construction services were granted de facto project responsibility. The U.S. firm Westinghouse Electric Corporation constructed Kori-1 and provided the reactor, General Electric Company (GEC) provided the steam generator and turbine generators, and Gilbert/Commonwealth provided architectural engineering services. Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Dong-A Construction Industrial Corporation played minor roles as subcontractors providing civil works and equipment installation services. In addition, South Korean firms manufactured 8 percent of the nuclear reactor's equipment and components. [7]

In 1995, a project to replace old components was launched that included the replacement of two steam generators and plant auxiliary systems. [8] Kori-1 was originally scheduled to be decommissioned in 2008 when its license expired, but after a six-month outage in 2007 for upgrades and inspections, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP) was able to negotiate an extension of the original 30-year operating lifetime for ten additional years to 2017. [9]

In April 2011, Kori-1 experienced an accidental shutdown due to the electrical overload of an aging spring coil inside a circuit-breaker and the failure of a back-up breaker. [10] Hyundai Heavy Industry accepted fault for the glitch and the reactor was shut down for a month. [11] As it was South Korea's oldest reactor, there was immediate outcry about the safety risks of continuing to extend the life of older reactors, especially in light of Japan's Fukushima accident the previous month.

Kori-2 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 고리 원자력발전소 2호기; Gori-2 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 637 MW(e) pressurized water reactor (PWR)
Primary Function: Production of electricity
Status: Operational

Kori-2 is South Korea's second nuclear power reactor, which was provided on a turnkey basis. Construction on the Kori-2 nuclear power reactor began in 1977, and the reactor commenced commercial operations in July 1983. [12] Kori-2 is a two-loop pressurized light water reactor with a sister plant in Krsko, Slovenia, and is based on a different design from the Kori-1 nuclear power reactor.

The U.S. firm Westinghouse Electric Corporation constructed Kori-2 and provided the reactor, General Electric Company provided the steam generator and turbine generators, and Gilbert/Commonwealth provided architectural engineering services. Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Dong-A Construction Industrial Corporation played a minor role as subcontractors providing civil works and equipment installation services. South Korean firms manufactured 12.9 percent of the equipment and components. [13]

Kori-2, which was originally operating on a 12-month fuel cycle, became South Korea's first PWR to extend its cycle to 15 months in 1987. From 1990 to 1991, Kori-2 generated power at an average capacity of 99.4 percent, which ranked it first worldwide among 150 MW(e) or greater PWRs. [14]

Kori-3 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 고리 원자력발전소 3호기; Gori-3 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 1007 MW(e) pressurized water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Kori-3 is South Korea's fifth nuclear power reactor. Construction for Kori-3 began in 1979, and the reactor began commercial operations in September 1985. [15] Kori-3 is a three-loop pressurized light water reactor, and its twin unit is the Kori-4 nuclear power reactor.

Kori-3 was constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Construction (Hanjung) while Westinghouse Electric Corporation provided the reactor, and General Electric Company provided the steam generator. [16] In 1992, Kori-3 moved from a 12-month to a 15-month fuel cycle, and subsequently to an 18-month cycle in 1995. [17]

Kori-3 has experienced several shut downs due to accidents and malfunctions. In October 1993, low water levels in the steam generator caused the turbine in the reactor to stop, resulting in a temporary shutdown. [18] In April 1999, Kori-3 was shut down for approximately ten days due to problems with the cooling system and steam generator. [19] Furthermore, in 1999, the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) reported the discovery of unidentified welded sections in Kori-3 that could cause pipe corrosion due to the boric acid contained in the coolant water. [20] In April 2011, its power was interrupted after a technician mistakenly touched a high-voltage cable, disrupting power to both Kori-3 and Kori-4. Both reactors receive power from the same cable, a situation unique to these two reactors in South Korea. A backup diesel generator was employed until the power was restored. [21]

Kori-4 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 고리 원자력발전소 4호기; Gori-4 Nuclear Power Reactor
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 1007 MW(e) Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Kori-4 is South Korea's sixth nuclear power reactor. Construction of the Kori-4 nuclear power reactor began in 1979, and the reactor started commercial operations in April 1986. [22] Kori-4 is a three-loop pressurized light water reactor, and is similar in design to the Yonggwang-1 and -2 reactors.

Construction of Kori-4 was undertaken by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Construction (Hanjung), while Westinghouse Electric Corporation provided the reactor and General Electric Company provided the steam generator. In 1992, Kori-4 moved from a 12-month to a 15-month fuel cycle, and in 1993 it became the first South Korean nuclear power plant to extend its fuel cycle to 18 months. [23] In April 1993, Kori-4 was temporarily shut down for five days due to a breakdown of the main steam line. [24]

Just days after Kori-1 suffered an accidental shut-down, human error interrupted power to the Kori-3 and -4 reactors on 19 April 2011. An engineer inspecting electrical circuits at Kori-3 inadvertently touched a live cable that provided power to both -3 and -4 reactors. No other reactors in South Korea have such a power-sharing system. A backup generator was able to run power to the reactors until a link to outside power sources was established again. [25]

Shin Kori-1 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 신고리 원자력발전소 1호기; Sin Gori-1; Shin'gori-1
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 960 MW(e) PWR
Status: Operational

Shin Kori-1 is a 1000 MW(e) pressurized light water reactor based on an improved design of the Korea Standard Nuclear Plant (KSNP or OPR1000+) called the KSNP Plus. [26] Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company was the prime contractor while Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) managed the overall project. In September 2002, BNFL Westinghouse was awarded a contract by Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company to provide components, instrumentation, and control equipment and technical services. [27] Construction began in June 2006, fuel loading occurred in June/July 2010, and the reactor was connected to the electrical grid in August 2010. After a series of tests and maintenance procedures, Shin Kori-1 began commercial operations in February 2011. [28]

Shin Kori-2 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 신고리 원자력발전소 2호기; Sin Gori-2; Shin'gori-2
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 960 MW(e) PWR
Status: Under construction

Shin Kori-2 will be a 1000 MW(e) pressurized light water reactor, and will be identical in design to its twin unit Shin Kori-1. [29] Both units are based on an improved design of the Korea Standard Nuclear Plant (KSNP) or sometimes Improved Optimized Power Reactor (OPR1000+) called the KSNP Plus, which includes modifications to some of the main components and enhanced safety features. [30] Construction began on Shin Kori-2 in June 2007, fuel was loaded in June 2011, and the reactor is expected to start commercial operations in December 2011. [31]

Shin Kori-3 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 신고리 원자력발전소 3호기; Sin Gori-3; Shin'gori-3
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 1340 MW(e) PWR
Status: Under construction

Shin Kori-3 will be South Korea's first Advanced Pressurized Reactor with a 1400 MW(e) generating capacity (APR 1400). The APR 1400 is a two-loop pressurized light water reactor that was developed by making improvements and modifications to the Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KNSP). [32] The APR 1400 project began in 1992 with the basic design completed in February 1999. Some key features of the APR 1400 include a shut down cooling system, a four train safety injection system, and digital instrumentation and control systems. In addition, the APR 1400 has a 60-year lifespan, plus safety features such as a larger pressurizer, and greater secondary water supply in the steam generators. [33] Construction for Shin Kori-3 began in September 2008, and commercial operation is expected to commence by the end of September 2013, however the timetable for both Shin Kori-3 and -4 appears to be slipping. [34]

Shin Kori-4 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 신고리 원자력발전소 4호기; Shin Kori-4; Shin'gori-4
Location: Gori, Jangan-eup, Gijang-gun, Busan, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 1340 MW(e) PWR
Status: Under construction

Shin Kori-4 will be South Korea's second Advanced Pressurized Reactor with a 1400 MW(e) generating capacity (APR 1400). Shin Kori-4 will be identical in design to its twin unit Shin Kori-3 and will be constructed under the same contractual scheme. [35] Construction for Shin Kori-4 began in September 2009, and commercial operations are expected to commence by the end of September 2014, although the timetable is uncertain. [36]

Sources:
[1] "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; "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[2] "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; "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[3] An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[4] An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[5] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[6] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - Kori-1," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[7] Shin Ho Chul and Ann MacLachlan, "Koreans Strive for Self-Reliance in Nuclear Plant Construction," Nucleonics Week, 19 December 1985, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[8] Mark Hibbs, "KEPCO Gearing up for Kori-1 Steam Generator Replacement," Nucleonics Week, 28 November 1996, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[9] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[10] Moon Gwang-lip, "No Date has been set for Restart of the Gori-1 Reactor," JoongAng Daily, 19 April 2011, http://joongangdaily.joins.com.
[11] Kim Sang-un, 고리원전 1호기 한달간 가동중단 [Gori-1 to Stop its Operation for a Month]," Donga Ilbo, 20 April 2011, http://news.donga.com.
[12] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[13] Shin Ho Chul and Ann MacLachlan, "Koreans Strive for Self-Reliance in Nuclear Plant Construction," Nucleonics Week, 19 December 1985, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[14] Mark Hibbs, "All But Two Oldest Korean PWRs to Be on 18-Month Cycles by 2007," Nuclear Fuel, 10 December 2001, p. 4, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[15] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - Kori-3," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[16] Shin Ho Chul and Ann MacLachlan, "Koreans Strive for Self-Reliance in Nuclear Plant Construction," Nucleonics Week, 19 December 1985, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[17] Mark Hibbs, "All But Two Oldest Korean PWRs to Be on 18-Month Cycles by 2007," Nuclear Fuel, 10 December 2001, p. 4, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[18] 고리원전 3호기 정지/방사선과는 무관 [Gori-3 Stoppage Not Related to Radiation]," Donga Ilbo, 17 October 1993, p. 7, www.kinds.or.kr.
[19] Shin Dong-heun, 고리원전 3호기 발전중단 [Gori Atomic Power Plant 3 Stopped operation)," Chosun Ilbo, 5 April 1999, news.chosun.com; 고리원전 3호기 냉각계통 고장... 발전중단 [Gori Atomic Power Plant 3, Problem with Cooling System...Generator Stopped]," Munhwa Ilbo, 5 April 1999, p. 22, www.kinds.or.kr.
[20] Moon Gap-sik, 원전 곳곳 설계도에 없는 용접 [Unplanned Welding Found in Nuclear Reactors]," Chosun Ilbo, 13 October 1999, news.chosun.com; Kim Dong-won, "영광-울진원전 등 상당수 용접결함 [Many Nuclear plants including Younggwang-Uljin have welding defects]," Segye Ilbo, 14 October 1999, p. 23, www.kinds.or.kr.
[21] "Power Supply at Gori Nuclear Power Plant Cut Again," Chosun Ilbo, 20 April 2011, http://english.chosun.com; Kim Gwang-su, "고리4호기 사고는 직원실수 탓…감독관도 현장 없었다 [Accident at Gori-4 was due to Employee's Mistake... Manager was not Present]," Hankyoreh Shinmun, 20 April 2011, www.hani.co.kr.
[22] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - Kori-4," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[23] Mark Hibbs, "All But Two Oldest Korean PWRs to be on 18-Month Cycles by 2007," Nuclear Fuel, 10 December 2001, p. 4, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[24] 고리원전 4호기 또고장 발전정지 [Gori Nuclear Power Plant 4 is out of order, stopped generator again ]," Donga Ilbo, 24 April 1993, p. 11, www.kinds.or.kr; O Tae-jin, "고리원전 고장/경미한 사고… 닷새 뒤 가동 [Gori Nuclear plant is out of order/light accident... re-generate in 5 days]," Chosun Ilbo, 23 April 1993, p. 11, www.kinds.or.kr.
[25] "Power Supply at Gori Nuclear Power Plant Cut Again," Chosun Ilbo, 20 April 2011, http://english.chosun.com; Kim Gwang-su, "고리4호기 사고는 직원실수 탓…감독관도 현장 없었다 [Accident at Gori-4 was due to Employee's Mistake... Manager was not Present]," Hankyoreh Shinmun, 20 April 2011, www.hani.co.kr.
[26] An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[27] Mark Hibbs, "KEPCO Plants First 1,400-MW PWRS at Shin-Kori, Four Units by 2014," Nucleonics Week, 5 April 2001, p.1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; "Company News: Westinghouse Signs New Build Contracts," Nuclear Engineering International, 31 October 2002, p. 10, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[28] "News - Shin-Kori 1 Loaded," Nuclear Engineering International, 6 August 2010, in Lexis-Nexis, www.lexis-nexis.com; "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Shin Kori-1," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; "Shin-Kori #1, 2," Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., LTD, www.khnp.co.kr.
[29] See Shin Kori-1 entry for further details.
[30] An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[31] "Shin-Kori #1, 2," Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., LTD, www.khnp.co.kr.
[32] An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[33] Mark Hibbs, "KEPCO Plans first 1,400-MW PWRs at Shin-Kori, four Units by 2014," Nucleonics Week, 5 April 2001, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Mark Hibbs, "KHNP Seeks to Open PWR Site at Dukchun on Coast of East Sea," Nucleonics Week, 27 September 2001, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; "Nuclear Power Progress; Koreans Prepare to Build the First Advanced PWR," Modern Power System, 31 August 2001, p. 37, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; "Korea Continues Nuclear Building Binge," Power, March 2003, p. 6, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Rick Michal, "New Plant Construction and Design; Myth and Realities," Nuclear News, August 2002, p. 48, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[34] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Shin Kori-3," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; Mark Hibbs, "Shin-Kori-3/4 Timetable Slipping, Completion Now Foreseen in 2013," Nucleonics Week, 27 April 2006, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[35] See Shin Kori-3 entry for further details.
[36] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Shin Kori-4," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; Mark Hibbs, "Shin-Kori-3/4 Timetable Slipping, Completion Now Foreseen in 2013," Nucleonics Week, 27 April 2006, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.

Country Profile
Flag of South Korea
South Korea

This article provides an overview of South Korea’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.