Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) this week announced the completion of fuel loading in the Shin Hanul Unit 1 reactor, which is now primed to undergo operational tests as the final step before achieving status as a commercially viable reactor.
A previous announcement estimated operational tests would take as long as eight months.
KHNP said 241 fuel assemblies had been loaded into the South Korea plant more than nine years after the groundbreaking for the project, which took place in May 2012. Two months later, the first concrete was poured.
Significant delays have slowed the project where the two units were originally expected to be online in April of 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to the World Nuclear Association. The revised schedule for fuel loading for Unit 1 -- the first of two 1350 MWe pressurized water reactors--was set for June 2019, but regulators asked for modifications following Nuclear Safety and Security Committee inspections.
Regulatory approval for fuel loading for Unit 1 was granted on July 9, 2021.
The Korea Engineering Company-designed APR-1400 has a capacity of 1400 MWe and has an operational life expectancy of 60 years. Four other APR-1400 units are under construction at the Barakah NPP in the United Arab Emirates, the first two of which have been connected to the grid. Another two AP1400 units at the Shin Kori plant -- Shin Kori 3 and 4 -- became operational in December 2016 and September 2019. while two more, Shin Kori units 5 and 6, are under construction with startups expected in March 2023 and June 2024.
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