Nuclear reactor shuts down over technical glitch
YEONGGWANG, South Korea, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) -- A nuclear reactor in South Korea's southwestern nuclear complex temporarily stopped operation Saturday due to a technical glitch, an official said, but it does not pose any radiation risks.
The 950,000-kilowatt "Hanbit 1" reactor stopped operating at around 5:16 a.m. due to a problem in a device that condenses a steam into water, according to Min Sung-mok, an official of the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, the operator of South Korea's nuclear power plants.
The device, which is required to maintain vacuum, stopped operation as its vacuum pressure dropped due to an unidentified reason, which automatically led to the shutdown of the reactor under the safety system.
The automatic shutdown posed no dangers of a radiation leak but said it may take days to determine the cause of the accident, said Min.
The reactor began its commercial operation in 1986 and its life is set to expire in 2025.
The reactor is located in Yeonggwang, about 350 kilometers southwest of Seoul. Min said five other reactors in Yeonggwang were operating normally.
South Korea currently operates 22 nuclear reactors, supplying about 30 percent of its total electricity consumption.