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Experts to decide fate of nuclear power plant: KHNP chief

The chief executive of the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. said Thursday the company will follow the decision by specialized agencies on whether to shut down the Gori-1 nuclear power plant in Busan.

A power failure at the Gori-1 unit in February and attempts to cover it up raised public demands to close down the nuclear facility.

“I apologize for causing concerns over the power outage at the Gori-1 unit,” Kim Jong-shin, CEO of KHNP, said in a press briefing at Busan City Hall.
Kim Jong-shin
Kim Jong-shin

“As for the proposed shutdown, we will follow the decision by expert agencies.”

Kim vowed to revamp the company’s organization and systems in order to prevent such accidents or delays in reports in the future.

He said the company was also considering expanding supervision by nongovernmental watchdogs to raise transparency.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission on Wednesday pressed charges against three KHNP officials responsible for the attempted cover-up.

The Gori-1 unit was approved for a 10-year extension after the International Atomic Energy Agency’s security inspection in 2007.

The KHNP was in talks with the IAEA for a two-week inspection of the Gori-1 unit around June, Kim said.

“Once the IAEA’s checkup is complete, the government will review the results and make a final decision (on the shutdown),” he said.

Kim’s planned meeting with residents of the neighboring area of the Gori-1 unit was canceled on Thursday due to their refusal.

A group of residents in the area rallied in front of the nuclear power plant Thursday, calling for its shutdown and Kim’s resignation.

“There will be no dialogue until our demands are accepted,” a member of the group said.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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