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S. Korea Issues Power Shortage Alert
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1241565/1/.html
Source Date: Friday, December 07, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Dec 07, 2012

SEOUL: South Korea's state power distributor issued an energy alert Friday as electricity reserves dropped on heavy consumption, fuelling concerns of winter shortages due to a nuclear power shortfall.

The temporary alert was automatically sounded by the Korea Power Exchange (KPX) when the reserves fell below 4.0 million kilowatts for more than 20 minutes.

Temperatures in South Korea have dropped to as low as -18.1 degrees Celsius (-0.58F) in recent days, driving up electricity demand.

In early November, Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-Woo had warned of "unprecedented" power shortages during the winter period due to the suspended operation of several nuclear reactors.

South Korea was forced to shut down two reactors at its Yeonggwang nuclear complex until at least January to replace components provided with fake quality certificates.

A third reactor was taken offline at the same complex when cracks were found on control rod tubes during maintenance work.

South Korea operates 23 nuclear power reactors that meet more than 35 per cent of the country's electricity needs. It plans to build an additional 16 reactors by 2030.

- AFP/ck
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