South Korea on Tuesday said it was suspending the operations of two nuclear power reactors and extended a shutdown of a third to replace cables that were supplied using fake certificates, threatening power shortages in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.
The government warned there could be “unprecedented” electricity shortages and rolling blackouts this summer due to the nuclear shutdowns. South Korea previously halted the operations of some of its 23 reactors last November after a scandal emerged over parts being supplied using fake documents.
The Asian country is heavily dependent on oil, gas and coal imports, but usually gets about a third of its electricity from nuclear power generation.
“This is a separate case from the last investigation,” said Kim Kyun-seop, president & CEO of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co Ltd, which runs nuclear reactors in South Korea and is owned by state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp.
The new case relates to forged documents on cables worth $5.35 million provided in 2008, Kim and energy ministry officials said, declining to identify the cable producers.