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Commission halts operation of two nuclear reactors due to fake parts

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- The nuclear safety commission halted the operation of two nuclear reactors Tuesday, while also suspending the scheduled operation of two other reactors for substandard parts used in the reactors.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said it has shut down two reactors - the Shin Kori Reactor 2 and Shin Wolsong Reactor 1 -- after learning that substandard parts supplied under fake quality warranties had been used in building them.

The commission has also suspended the scheduled resumption of operation of the Shin Kori Reactor 1, which had been undergoing regular maintenance.

In addition, the new Shin Wolsong Reactor 2, which is currently under a review for the start of its commercial operation, will not be allowed to begin operation until all substandard parts have been replaced, it said.

The shutdown of the reactors and the substandard parts used in them posed no immediate threats to safety, but a serious problem for the supply of electricity.

The country currently operates 23 reactors, supplying about 30 percent of its total electricity consumption. The shutdown of two nuclear reactors that are currently operational means a significant drop in the country's power reserve levels.

The shutdown of the reactors is the latest development in a scandal that erupted late last year, involving more than 13,000 substandard parts supplied under fake quality warranties for over 10 years.

The commission had shut down two reactors at the Yeonggwang Nuclear Power Plant, located 330 kilometers south of Seoul, saying nearly 99 percent of all substandard parts had been used in the two Yeonggwang reactors.

So far, the commission said only control cables with fake warranties had been used in the two reactors at the Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant, located some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and the two reactors at the Kori Nuclear Power Plant, located about 450 kilometers from the capital and near Busan.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130527/commission-halts-operation-two-nuclear-reactors-due-fake-p-0