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[cdn-nucl-l] Sinking South Korea nuclear plant is safe-officials
Posted on Asia Yahoo News on September 5, 2002 and at:
Sinking South Korea nuclear plant is safe-officials
SEOUL, Sept 5 (Reuters) - South Korean nuclear power officials and
geology experts said on Thursday that subsidence at a nuclear plant
built near its southeast coast was within accepted limits and did not
The Dong-a Ilbo daily had said on Thursday part of the Ulsong nuclear
power plant had sunk 7.54 mm (0.2968 inch) since 1978. The report was
said to have been based on information from the Korea Hydro and Nuclear
Power Co, which operates the power plant.
Quoting some geological experts, the newspaper also said the situation
could get worse, particularly if there was a geological fault in the
ground below the plant's number one nuclear reactor.
But Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co, a wholly-owned unit of state-run
Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) , said in a statement the subsidence
was "within permissible limits of 12.95 mm" and rejected the suggestion
of a (geological) fault near the plant.
"It does not threaten the safety at all and it is not sinking any more,"
Ham Young-seung, a senior engineering official at Korea Hydro and
Nuclear Power told Reuters.
The company said they had expected the subsidence before they started
building the plant completed in 1983, but went ahead with their plan as
geological experts said it was not a problem.
A geology professor at a local university also said the newspaper report
"It is more like an assumption that a fault is near the plant. And I
don't see the ground would sink further," said the professor, who asked
not to be identified.
The power plant has four nuclear power reactors with combined power
generation capacity of 2,770 megawatts (MW).
Nuclear power supplies about 40 percent of South Korea's total