Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced on May 22 that unit 1 of the Shin Hanul nuclear power plant, located in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, achieved criticality for the first time at 11 a.m. on May 22. A reactor goes critical when each fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons to sustain an ongoing series of reactions. Achieving criticality means the reactor has started operation.
Shin Hanul Unit 1 is the 27th nuclear power plant in Korea. It obtained an operating license from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission on July 9, 2021. It went live after the loading of fuel assemblies and high-temperature functional tests.
“Safety comes first at Shin Hanul Unit 1,” a KHNP official said. “We are planning to produce electric power at Shin Hanul Unit 1 for the first time in early June after undergoing a performance test of its system and start its full-scale commercial operations in the second half of this year.”