SEOUL, Dec 20 (Reuters) - South Korea’s latest nuclear reactor started commercial operations on Tuesday, bringing the total number of reactors in Asia’s fourth-largest economy to 25.
The 1,400-megawatt Shin Kori No.3, located near the city of Busan, over 300 km (190 miles) southeast of Seoul, is designed to run for 60 years, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co Ltd (KHNP) said in a statement.
South Korea’s atomic sector generates about a third of the country’s power, but many locals are still spooked by the Fukushima disaster in nearby Japan, as well as a scandal at home a couple of years ago over fake safety certificates for nuclear equipment.
KNHP also said another reactor, Shin Kori No.4, would gain operational approval in the first half of next year, before beginning a test run.
Meanwhile, the Hanul No.5 nuclear reactor was shut on Tuesday to check its water level after a small amount of cooling water had leaked, said KHNP spokesman Kim Tae-seok. He added that no radiation had leaked.
The shutdown of the 1,000-MW nuclear reactor brings the total number of reactors offline to seven, according to KNHP’s website.
Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford