SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will temporarily suspend the Gori-2 nuclear reactor starting next month for safety inspections and improvements that are required before the facility can resume operations, the industry ministry said Wednesday.
The 40-year permission to operate the No. 2 reactor at the Gori Nuclear Power Plant, located in Busan, 325 kilometers southeast of Seoul, expires April 8, and the procedures for continuing its operations require around three to four years to complete, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
"The suspension was inevitable as the beginning of the process has been delayed due to the previous government's nuclear phase-out policy," the ministry said in a release.
The government seeks to resume its operations in June 2025, though the schedule is not fixed and the priority will be on how to ensure safety.
The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., which operates the reactor, plans to apply for the permission extension with the Korea Institute for Nuclear Safety this month, it added.
The Gori-2 unit began commercial operations in April 1983 as the country's third nuclear reactor. Currently, South Korea operates 19 out of its 25 nuclear reactors.
The Yoon Suk Yeol government reversed the nuclear phase-out policy of the previous administration and is working to expand the country's generation of nuclear power to boost energy security and better achieve net-zero goals.
It seeks to expand nuclear power generation to 30 percent of the country's total energy creation by 2030, with the figure for 2021 coming to 27.4 percent.
Yonhap News Agency>