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Gov't names two candidate sites for new nuclear plants
SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- The government named two candidate sites on Friday for two new nuclear power plants that will each house four nuclear reactors.

   The sites will be named the actual homes of the new nuclear power plants, set to be built by 2023, following a more thorough evaluation that will include a geological survey to determine the safety and suitability of the areas, according to an official from the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), the country's sole operator of nuclear power plants.

   One of the sites is located in Yeongdeok, 350 kilometers southeast of Seoul, where the KHNP plans to build its new Cheonji Nuclear Power Plant, housing four 1.5-megawatt pressurized water reactors. The site is also located about 50 kilometers south of Uljin, the home of Uljin Nuclear Power Plant that already houses six nuclear reactors.

   The other candidate site is located about 50 kilometers north of Uljin near a city named Samcheok that also sits on the east coast. The site is tapped to become the home of Daejin Nulcear Power Plant, which will also house four 1.5-megawatt reactors.

   Construction of both the Cheonji and Daejin plants will likely begin in 2016 if the government and the national nuclear safety commission give their final approval, the KHNP official said.

   South Korea currently has 23 nuclear reactors in operation. It plans to increase the number to 39 by 2030.