South Korea might close operations of Kori No. 1 nuclear unit operated by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, after a over energy advisory panel recommended against the extension of operations, amidst safety concerns.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) is therefore not likely to seek for a second permit extension for the unit, whose operating permit will be expiring in June 2017.
South Korea trade, industry and energy minister and the government-led committee head Yoon Sang-jick was quoted by Reuters as saying: "The energy committee concluded today that the permanent closure of Kori No.1 is desirable for the mid- and long-term development of our nuclear power industry."
The closure will mark the first shutdown of a power generating unit in the country, which had been operating for nearly 40 years.
Located in Busan, Kori No.1 has a generation capacity of 587MW, which generates around 0.5% of the total power requirement in South Korea.
Permit for the nuclear unit had already been extended once for 10 years.
KHNP was expected to apply for a second extension of the operational unit within 18 June this year.
KHNP spokesperson was quoted by the news agency as saying: "Nothing has been decided until our executive meeting is held some time next week."
South Korea also intends to strengthen its decommissioning technology, on recommendation from the advisory panel, to step up with the capabilities of the developed countries.