The head of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), Jong-shin Kim, has resigned in the wake of a safety-related incident at the Kori nuclear power plant and subsequent concerns over safety culture, the World Nuclear Association reported on April 17.
During a maintenance shutdown a worker who had not been following proper procedure accidentally broke the connection to the grid and caused a 12-minute station black-out at Kori 1. It was a serious lapse
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), the state-owned utility operates 23 nuclear power reactors. The move by Kim was announced to journalists by the responsible minister, Sukwoo Hong, who added that the resignation is expected to be accepted by President Lee Myung-bak.
Korea’s faith in its highly successful nuclear sector was shaken last month by revelations of a safety-related incident that occurred in February. . The manager of the reactor decided to conceal this, despite a legal obligation to notify the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) of the technical emergency situation.
The circumstances of the incident and its cover-up have been the subject of investigation by the NSSC. The reactor manager was dismissed after admitting his actions.
Kim held the top position at KHNP since 2007, being reappointed in 2010 following recognition of his role in a Korean consortium’s successful bid to export four large reactors to the UAE.
World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) plans to send a representative to Korea