The reactor No. 1 at the Wolseong nuclear power station will shut down on Nov. 20, when it reaches the end of its life cycle.
The head of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, Kang Chang-sun, told reporters Monday "We've asked Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power four times whether the operation of the reactor can be extended but haven't received any reply yet." Even if a reply is received now, it is too late to make a decision by Nov. 20, so it will have to be shut down, he added.
The commission can extend by up to 10 years the operation of reactors whose 30-year life cycle comes to an end. In December 2009, Korea Hydro submitted a report to the commission, after conducting a safety check, to obtain an approval to extend the operation of the reactor.
With a gross generation capacity of 678,000 kW, the Wolseong reactor is capable of generating about 5 billion kWh per year, accounting for 13.7 percent of annual electricity demand in North Gyeongsang Province.
The reactor No. 1 at the Gori nuclear power station was the first whose lifespan was extended by another 10 years in 2007. At the time it shut down for about a month while approval was pending.