Published : 2013-12-08 12:58
Updated : 2013-12-08 12:58
The operation rate of the country's nuclear power plants sank to its lowest level in 25 years, as a number of the plants were suspended for faulty parts supplied under fake tests and also underwent regular maintenance work, data showed on Sunday.
According to the Korea Electric Power Corp., the operation rate of the country's 23 nuclear power plants stood at 75.2 percent in the first 10 months of the year.
Last year, the comparable figure was 82.3 percent, also down 8.4 percentage points from a year earlier.
The country started the commercial operation of its first nuclear power plant in 1978. The previous record-low operation rate was 73 percent in 1988.
A series of nuclear power plant corruption scandals has suspended the operation of six out of 23 nuclear power plants nationwide, and thermal power plants have been in full operation for the past several months.
The operation rate of the country's nuclear power plants has ranged from 40 percent to 70 percent in the 1970s and the 1980s.
But since the 1990s, the operation rate had never fallen below the 80-percent level.
Entering the 2000s, the operation rate hovered above the 90-percent level, peaking at 95.5 percent in 2005.
Earlier, the South Korean government announced a set of painstaking measures to cut the country's electricity consumption but acknowledged that the measures may not be enough to completely rule out the possibility of the power reserves remaining low. (Yonhap News)