SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea has the world’s second-fastest construction time of nuclear reactors after Japan, a report from the U.N. nuclear watchdog showed Tuesday, but Seoul’s atomic energy provider said the short period doesn’t affect their safety.
According to the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, South Korea has built 13 nuclear reactors since 1996, with the average time taken to construct them reaching 56 months.
Japan, which has built eight nuclear reactors over the cited period, boasts the shortest average time of 46 months.
China placed third with an average time of 68 months. The world’s second-largest economy has built 28 nuclear reactors during the period.
During the 20-year period, 15 countries have completed a total of 83 nuclear reactors, with the average construction time standing at 190 months.
The United States has built a single nuclear reactor over the cited period, with the construction time reaching 272 months. Currently, America has the largest number of nuclear reactors in operation in the world with 100.
The average construction time comes to 126 months for France, which has built four reactors during the period and relies on nuclear power for 77 percent of its electricity needs.
The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), which runs South Korea’s nuclear reactors, said the relatively short construction time doesn’t compromise the safety and durability of its nuclear reactors.
“We’ve been able to shorten the time taken to build nuclear reactors thanks to either the improvements in the methods of construction or the high level of related infrastructure,” a KHNP official said. “The short construction period poses no threat to their safety.”
Currently, South Korea has 23 nuclear reactors in operation from which the country gets about 30 percent of its power supply.