Ulchin Nuclear Power Complex

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Last Updated: August 1, 2011
Other Name: 울진 원자력발전소; Uljin Nuclear Power Complex
Location: Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate To: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 6 power reactors
Facility Status: All units operational

The Ulchin Nuclear Power Complex has six operational reactors that were built in three stages. Ulchin-1 and -2 have identical designs and were constructed under the same contractual scheme during the second phase of South Korea's nuclear energy development program. Framatome provided the reactors and agreed to transfer technology to Korean engineering and manufacturing companies. Alsthom supplied the turbine generators, and in collaboration with Framatome, supplied the steam generators and architectural engineering services. Korean firms contributed approximately 41.5 percent of the project's contents, including construction services provided by Korea Heavy Industries and Construction Corporation (Hanjung) and Dong Ah Construction Company. [1]

Ulchin-3 and -4 were constructed under the third phase of South Korea's nuclear power program, which called for self-reliance in nuclear technology. Under this phase, South Korea planned to standardize the design of nuclear power plants and achieve technological self-sufficiency. In order to meet these goals, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) concluded a ten-year technology transfer agreement with ABB-CE (Switzerland) in 1987. Beginning with the construction of Yonggwang-3 in December 1989, KEPCO used Korean firms as primary contractors for the provision of major equipment and engineering services. Foreign firms serving as subcontractors were selected through competitive bidding, and were required to conclude a technology transfer agreement as part of the contract. [2]

Ulchin-5 and -6 are South Korea's last Korea Standard Nuclear Plants (KNSP) based on the CE-80 system design. The design of Ulchin-5 is similar to the previous Ulchin KNSP units, with additional upgrades to improve its efficiency and safety. [3]

Ulchin-1 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 울진 원자력발전소 1호기; Uljin-1
Location: Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 945 MW(e) Pressurized light water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Ulchin-1 is South Korea's eighth nuclear power plant. Construction for Ulchin-1 began in January 1983, and the reactor began commercial operations in September 1988. [4] Ulchin-1 is a three-loop pressurized light water reactor, which was supplied by the French firm Framatome. [5]

Since entering commercial operations, Ulchin-1 shut down several times due to technical malfunctions. The first incident occurred one month after Ulchin-1 began commercial operations, when a short-circuit in the generator caused the reactor to be temporarily shut down. [6] In 1997 and 2001, Ulchin-1 and -2 were temporarily shut down several times due to swarms of shrimp and jellyfish clogging the inflow of water into the generators. [7] In addition, Ulchin-1 has experienced several incidents of coolant leaking from its steam generator tubes. [8]

In November 2003, the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) announced plans to replace Ulchin-1's steam generators and upgrade safety programs, and in 2005 KHNP began preparations for a periodic safety review (PSR). PSRs are a prelude to an application for a 10-year life extension for Ulchin-1. [9]

Ulchin-2 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 울진 원자력발전소 2호기; Uljin-2
Location: Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 942 MW(e) Pressurized light water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Ulchin-2 is South Korea's ninth nuclear power plant. Construction for Ulchin-2 began in January 1983, and the reactor began commercial operations in September 1989. [10] Ulchin-2 is the twin unit of Ulchin-1. [11]

Since entering commercial operations, Ulchin-2 shut down several times due to technical malfunctions. The first incident occurred several months after Ulchin-2 began commercial operations, when low pressure fans in the turbine generator ruptured. In 1997 and 2001, Ulchin-1 and -2 were temporarily shut down several times due to swarms of shrimp and jellyfish clogging the inflow of water into the generators. [12]

In November 2003, the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) announced plans to replace Ulchin-2's steam generators and upgrade safety programs, and in 2005 KHNP began preparations for a periodic safety review (PSR). PSRs are a prelude to an application for a 10-year life extension for Ulchin-2. [13]

Ulchin-3 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 울진 원자력발전소 3호기; Uljin-3
Location: Puguri Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size:994 MW(e) pressurized light water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Ulchin-3 is South Korea's thirteenth nuclear power plant. Construction for Ulchin-3 began in May 1992, and the reactor began commercial operations in August 1998. [14]

Ulchin-3 is a two-loop light water pressurized reactor, and is the first Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KSNP), which is a modified and improved version of the Yonggwang -3 basic design. [15] The plan to develop the KSNP included the use of enhanced safety features, simplicity of design, and improved performance. In addition, the improvements in design were made to correspond with updated licensing requirements and industry codes and standards. Some key features of the KSNP include a safety depressurization system, new equipment to more accurately measure the level of reactor coolant, improved chemical and volume control systems, simplification of operational procedures, and the use of digital technology for the control systems. [16]

Ulchin-3 was constructed under the same contractual scheme as Yonggwang -3 and -4, but with greater participation by Korean firms. ABB-CE provided the main components of the reactor, the coolant pumps, the plant protection and safety systems, the design work, and the engineering services. Korean Heavy Industries and Construction Company (Hanjung) manufactured the reactor vessel, steam generators, and pressurizers, and jointly developed the turbine generator with GE. Korea Power Engineering Company (KOPEC) worked with Sargent & Lundy to provide architect and engineering services. [17]

In December 2005, the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company announced preparations for a periodic safety review (PSR) to be conducted from mid-2007 through mid-2009. PSRs are a prelude to an application for a 10-year life extension for Ulchin-3. [18]

Ulchin-4 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 울진 원자력발전소 4호기; Uljin-4
Location: Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 998 MW(e) pressurized light water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Ulchin-4 is South Korea's fourteenth nuclear power plant. Construction for Ulchin-4 began in May 1992, and the reactor began commercial operations in August 1998. [19] Ulchin-4 is a two-loop light water Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KSNP). It is the twin unit of Ulchin-3, and was constructed under the same contractual scheme. [20]

In April 2002, Ulchin-4 experienced a rupture in the steam generator tube, and this prompted public fear and concern over nuclear safety. As a result, Korean lawmakers drafted new legislation allowing the public to obtain access to information regarding nuclear accidents. [21] In December 2005, the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company announced preparations for a periodic safety review (PSR) to be conducted from mid-2007 through mid-2009. PSRs are a prelude to an application for a 10-year life extension for Ulchin-4. [22]

Ulchin-5 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 울진 원자력발전소 5호기; Uljin-5
Location: Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 1001 MW(e) pressurized light water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Ulchin-5 is South Korea's nineteenth nuclear power reactor. Construction began in January 1999, and the reactor began commercial operations on 29 July 2004. [23]

The main components of the reactor were manufactured by Doosan Heavy Industry and Construction Company with ABB-CE (Switzerland) as a subcontractor for engineering design and other components. The reactor was completed and pressure vessels installed in June 2001. [24] Ulchin-5 was loaded with fuel in October 2003, and connected to the grid in late January 2004. [25]

Ulchin-6 Nuclear Power Reactor

Other Names: 울진 원자력발전소 6호기; Uljin-6
Location: Bugu-ri, Buk-myeon, Uljin-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Subordinate to: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (한국수력원자력주)
Size: 996 MW(e) pressurized light water reactor (PWR)
Status: Operational

Construction on Ulchin-6 began in September 2000, and the reactor began commercial operations on April 22, 2005. Ulchin-6 reached criticality on 16 December 2004, and was connected to the grid in January 2005. [26] It is the twin unit of Ulchin-5, with the same design and construction features. [27]

Sources:
[1] 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.
[2] 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.
[3] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[4] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-1," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; "Ulchin-1 Enters Service Just Before Olympics," Nuclear News, November 1988, p. 73, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[5] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[6] "South Korean Nuclear Plant Breaks Down," Xinhua News Agency, 5 November 1988, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[7] "Shrimps Close Down Nuclear Plant," Chosun Ilbo, 1 February 1997, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Gu Dae-seon and O Cheol-woo, "새우때 습격에 첨단원전 뻘뻘/울진 1,2호기 가동중단 [Shrimp Attack, brand-new nuclear power plant suffers/Uljin 1, 2 stopped generating]," Hankyoreh Shinmun, 2 May 2001, p. 15, www.kinds.co.kr; Baek Seung-mok, "울진원전 또 해파리떼 1,2호기 12시간 가동중단 [Jellyfishes appeared Uljin Nuclear Power Plant 1 and 2, stopped generating for 12 hours]," Kyunghyang Shinmun, 27 August 2001, p. 26, www.kinds.co.kr.
[8] Lee In-woo, 울진 원전 1호기 냉각수 누출 / 한전 국감자료 [Uljin Nuclear Power Plant 1's Cooling Water Leaked/Audit Document from Korea Electric Power]," Hankyoreh Sinmun, 22 October 1998, p. 26, www.kinds.or.kr; Jeong Jae-woong, 울진원전 1호기 '안전비상'/방사능 냉각수 계속 누출 [Uljin Nuclear Power Plant 1 'Security Emergency', Radiation Cooling Water Is Still Leaking]," Kukmin Ilbo, 11 November 1998, p. 15, www.kinds.co.kr.
[9] Mark Hibbs, "KHNP to Replace Wolsong-1 Tibes, Ulchin-1 and-2 Steam Generators," Nucleonics Week, 6 November 2003, p. 7, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Mark Hibbs, "Kori-1 Set to File for License Extension, with Korea's Other Units to Follow," Nucleonics Week, 22 December  2005, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[10] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-2," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[11] See Ulchin-1 entry for further details.
[12] "Shrimps Close Down Nuclear Plant," Chosun Ilbo, 1 February 1997, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Gu Dae-seon and O Cheol-woo, "새우때 습격에 첨단원전 뻘뻘/울진 1, 2호기 가동중단 [Shrimps Attack, brand-new nuclear power plant suffers/Uljin 1, 2 stopped generating]," Hankyoreh Shinmun, 2 May 2001, p. 15, www.kinds.co.kr; Baek Seung-mok, "울진원전 또 해파리떼 1, 2호기 12시간 가동중단 [Jellyfishes appeared Uljin Nuclear Power Plant 1 and 2, Stopped Generating for 12 Hours]," Kyunghyang Shinmun, 27 August 2001, p. 26, www.kinds.co.kr.
[13] Mark Hibbs, "KHNP to Replace Wolsong-1 Tibes, Ulchin-1 and -2 Steam Generators," Nucleonics Week, 6 November 2003, p. 7, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Mark Hibbs, "Kori-1 Set to File for License Extension, with Korea's Other Units to Follow," Nucleonics Week, 22 December 2005, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[14] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-3," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage; "Ulchin-3 Connected to Grid Ahead of Schedule," Nuclear News, February 1998, p. 60, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[15] "Nuclear Power in South Korea," World Nuclear Association, 5 January 2011, www.world-nuclear.org.
[16] An Seung-kyoo, "Evolution of Korea's Nuclear Reactor Designs," The Korea Herald, 19 March 2010, www.koreaherald.com.
[17] "Most of Ulchin-3 and -4 to Be Made Domestically," Nuclear News, September 1991, p. 78, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; David Stellfox, "ABB-C-E Wins Korean Contract for Two More System-80 PWRs," Nucleonics Week, 25 July 1991, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[18] Mark Hibbs, "Kori-1 Set to File for License Extension, with Korea's Other Units to Follow," Nucleonics Week, 22 December 2005, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[19] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-4," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[20] See Ulchin-3 entry for further details.
[21] Mark Hibbs, "Reporting of Ulchin-4 Tube Break Prompted Draft Nuclear Data Law," Nucleonics Week, 8 May 2003, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[22] Mark Hibbs, "Kori-1 Set to File for License Extension, with Korea's Other Units to Follow," Nucleonics Week, 22 December 2005, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com.
[23] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-5," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[24] "Ulchin-5 and -6 Contracts Signed," Nucleonics Week, 19 December 1996, p. 18, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Mark Hibbs, "Ulchin-5, -6 Schedule Will Absorb Strike-Related Delay, KHNP Says," Nucleonics Week, 22 August 2002, p. 15, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; Mark Hibbs, "Second to Last KSNP Unit 50% Complete at Ulchin Site," Nucleonics Week, 27 September 2001, p. 9, in Lexis-Nexis, web.lexis-nexis.com; "New South Korean Reactor Starts Up," Uranium Information Centre Weekly Digest, 26 March 2004, www.uic.com.au.
[25] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-5," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[26] "Nuclear Power Reactor Details — Ulchin-6," IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS), www.iaea.org/dbpage.
[27] See Ulchin-5 entry for further details.

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