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‘Korean nuclear power plants safe from earthquakes’

Korean nuclear power plants are constructed to be safe from earthquakes, the state-run electric power company said, amid concerns over the safety of such facilities after an earthquake here last month.

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. said all nuclear power plants including those in Wolseong and Gori were designed to be earthquake-resistant even if earthquakes of over magnitude 6.5 hit the plants.

Construction is underway on the foundation rock where the nuclear reactor of the nuclear power plant will be installed. (KHNP)
Construction is underway on the foundation rock where the nuclear reactor of the nuclear power plant will be installed. (KHNP)

Unlike other constructions in general in cities, nuclear power plants are built from 20 meters deep from the ground. Before the construction, the KHNP also conducts a thorough investigation into the geological structure and quality of rocks, said an official working at the Gori nuclear power plant.

Concerns have grown over the safety of nuclear power plants after an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 hit Ulsan on July 5.

“Key constructions of the nuclear power plants are built with concrete that are two times stronger than that of general buildings, reducing (potential) seismic vibrations by 30 to 50 percent,” an expert was quoted by the company.

After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, the KHNC conducted a safety test on all nuclear power plants and carried out measures such as raising the sea wall and reinforcing waterproof facilities.

By Lee Hyun-jeong  (rene@heraldcorp.com)
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