Counterfeit cables force shutdown of two South Korean nuclear power plants

June 12, 2013
After allegedly forged safety reports were uncovered, the president of South Korea’s nuclear power plant operating company was forced to resign.

Multiple media outlets are reporting on a scandal in South Korea in which counterfeit cables had been in use at two of the country’s nuclear power plants since December 2011. Reports indicate the cables, which are power cables and not communications cables, were supplied with bogus safety certificates. Once the forgery was discovered, the two plants in which the cables were used were shut down. Additionally, the reporting states, counterfeit cabling also was found at two reactors currently under construction.

This story by Youkyung Lee of the Associated Press explains the falsified cables “control valves that are responsible for cooling nuclear fuel or preventing the release of radioactive materials during an emergency.” The story points out the cables tested failed 9 of 12 tests related “to their operation in a ‘loss of coolant accident.’”

Published after the AP story, this reporting from Bellona’s Andrei Ozharovsky and Maria Kaminskaya tells of the resignation of Kim Kyun Seop, president of South Korea’s nuclear power plant operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power. Additionally, it cites other sources when reporting the resignation of An Seung-Kyoo, chief executive officer of nuclear-power-plant design-and-technology company KEPCO Engineering and Construction.

Youkyung Lee’s story reports, and the Ozharovsky/Kaminskaya story reiterates, that vice trade and energy minister Han Jinhyun said it will take approximately four months to replace the cables.

Both stories elaborate on this counterfeit-cable discovery being just the latest in a series of scandals involving the supply of components for South Korea’s nuclear plants.

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