The state-of-the-art nuclear power plant, Singori Unit 4 into which 5 trillion won was poured has lost 2 billion won a day due to its unauthorized operation for over one year.
At a meeting with the Nuclear Safety Commission on Oct. 24, the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety reported the results of its screening and inspection that the performance of Singori Unit 4 is suitable for technical standards.
It has verified that all major equipment and facilities such as nuclear reactors, coolant pipes, and steam generators have adequate performance, and that manpower has technical capabilities in emergency measures and fuel charging.
The commission will discuss the approval of operation at a general meeting after a detailed review. However, former Chairman Kang Jung-min resigned at the end of last month and four non-standing commissioners also resigned in July, causing paralysis. The original committee consists of nine members, but only the chief of staff (executive acting chairman) and three non- standing commissioners remain.
"There are no procedural problems with the four commission members holding meetings and voting," the commission said. "But it is difficult to decide when there is no chairperson to operate nuclear power plants."
Rep. Lee Chae-ik of the Liberty Korea Party said, "As the approval of the operation of the Singori Unit 4 is delayed, 2 billion won in opportunity cost loss will be incurred a day."
The government explained that the delay in operation of the Singori Unit 4 is due to the safety-enhancing measures considering the September 2016 earthquake in Gyeongju and the November earthquake in Pohang last year.