South Korea closes nuclear power plants using forged documents, substandard repair parts

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South Korea has suspended operations in two nuclear power reactors and extended a shutdown of a third to replace parts that were supplied using fake certificates.

The government warned on Tuesday there could be “unprecedented” electricity shortages and rolling blackouts this summer due to the nuclear shutdowns.

The latest closures, which are part of a widening investigation into the supply of cables provided with falsified safety certificates, mean that 10 of the country’s 23 nuclear reactors are currently offline…

Blackout alerts, triggered automatically when power reserves dip below a certain level, were highly likely and power shortages could be “very serious” in August, the statement said…

At proper capacity, South Korea’s nuclear reactors supply more than 35 percent of national electricity needs.

“We expect unprecedented supply shortage this summer as we have to meet power demand while three reactors are halted,” said Han Jin-hyun, vice minister for trade, industry and energy…

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it had shut down the reactors, one at the Gori nuclear complex and another at the Wolseong plant, after learning that both had used parts supplied with forged warranties.

The scheduled resumption of another reactor under maintenance at Gori, and the start of a new reactor at Wolseong, were postponed for the same reason, the commission said.

Parts used at all four reactors would have to be replaced

Corruption almost always jeopardizes safety. A factor which doesn’t mean a damned thing to corporate creeps who see a chance to increase profits.

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