- [November 15, 2020] Workshop Held for Public Panel for Establishment of Third Comprehensive Plan for Nuclear Safety and Security
Workshop Held for Public Panel for Establishment of Third Comprehensive Plan for Nuclear Safety and Security
An opportunity was provided for the public to be involved in and directly make suggestions for visions and policy directions of nuclear safety.
On November 15th, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (Chairperson Uhm Jaesik, hereinafter referred to as the “NSSC”) and the Korea Foundation of Nuclear Safety (President Kim Hyejeong) announced that a workshop for the public panel’s deliberation of the third Comprehensive Plan for Nuclear Safety and Security was held for two days from November 14th through 15th.
At the workshop, 120 members of the public panel gathered their thoughts through group discussions about the future of nuclear safety and policy directions.
Based on the suggestions of the public panel on vision and policy directions, experts of various specialties and stakeholders such as local residents and related organizations will come up with strategic tasks through group discussions till the first half of next year.
Also, the NSSC will establish plans in greater detail to embody the vision, policy directions and strategic tasks. The plan will be finally confirmed after collecting opinions from the public panel, general public and associated organizations and going through resolution of the commissioners.
Chairperson Uhm Jaesik said at the workshop, “Major policies that the NSSC will establish in the future will be desirably formed through direct involvement of the public.” He added, “The government will do its best to realize policies wanted by people.”
On the other hand, this workshop was held with an effort to prevent disease infection considering the Covid-19 pandemic by using video streaming and therefore minimizing the number of people to gather in a place.
- [November 13, 2020] The 128th Meeting of the Commission Was Held
The 128th Meeting of the Commission Was Held
■ The bill to modify the business license of nuclear facilities was passed to allow installation of facilities to restore uranium from scraps generated during the production of nuclear fuel at the first factory of the KEPCO Nuclear Fuel was deliberated and passed.
■ The bill to modify the construction permit and operating license of nuclear facilities for the Shinkori Unit 4, 5 and 6 was deliberated and passed.
On November 13th, 2020, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (Chairperson, Uhm Jaesik, hereinafter referred to as the “NSSC”) held the 128th meeting of the Commission where the commissioners discussed and passed 2 bills.
※ In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, commissioners’ meetings have been held in the form of a meeting with limited face-to-face interactions since April 10th by minimizing the number of attendees, checking body temperatures, wearing masks and physically distancing (maintaining a distance of 2 meters) from each other.
The commissioners discussed and passed the ｢bill to modify the business license of nuclear facilities｣. This bill is about addition of pre-processing and reprocessing, applied by the KEPCO Nuclear Fuel, in order to recover uranium from uranium compounds scraps generated during the production of nuclear fuel at the first factory.
The commissioners discussed and passed the ｢bill to modify the construction permit and operating license of nuclear facilities｣, in relation to the Shinkori Unit 4, 5 and 6, applied by the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (President Jeong Jaehun, hereinafter referred to as the “KHNP”). However, the commissioners decided to reintroduce the matters, of the construction permit and operating license, related to the test of fuel oil system of Emergency Diesel Generators of the Shinkori Unit 1 and 2, and Shinwolsong Unit 1 and 2 for discussion at a next meeting.
The commissioners decided to place the ｢bill on approval of use of nuclear fuel materials｣, applied by the licensee to utilize depleted uranium*, again on the table at a next meeting after supplementing the bill.
* Uranium that has lower concentrations of U-235 than it has in natural state
The NSSC started to review the application for an operating license of the Shinhanul Unit 1, submitted by the KHNP on December 2014.
At this meeting, the commissioners were reported on the status of the application for an operating license of the Shinhanul Unit 1 and on the result of review and inspections on the application, by the KHNP, the applicant, and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, a technical support organization (TSO) of the NSSC, respectively.
The commissioners were also reported by the Special Committee on Nuclear Safety, an advisory committee under the NSSC, on the preliminary review on the result of the review and inspections conducted by the KINS. The commissioners will continue their in-depth discussions on
the application for an operating license.
- [November 12, 2020] NSSC Approved Criticality of Hanbit Unit 3 During Periodic Inspection and to Conduct Power Ascension and Other Remaining Tests
NSSC Approved Criticality of Hanbit Unit 3 During Periodic Inspection and to Conduct Power Ascension and Other Remaining Tests
On November 12th, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (Chairperson Uhm Jaesik, hereinafter referred to as the "NSSC") allowed the criticality* of the Hanbit Unit 3, which had been undergoing a periodic inspection since May 11th, 2018.
* Criticality means to make nuclear fissions in the reactor occur continuously, resulting in the state where the generated neutrons are equal to the extinct neutrons and therefore, the number of neutrons is in equilibrium.
※ If criticality is approved, 9 remaining tests, including a core physics test, are conducted during the process of or after reaching the criticality of reactors.
During this periodic inspection, the NSSC checked the result of 88 test items to be carried out before the reactor reaches its criticality, and confirmed that the reactor can safely reach its criticality.
During this periodic inspection, the containment liner plates (CLP*) were inspected, and as a result, all CLPs** that had the thickness less than the standard (5.4mm) were either replaced or assessed on an engineering basis. 124 voids that were found during the inspection have been all repaired.
* Containment liner plates prevent the leakage of radioactive materials in case of an accident.
** (corrosive parts) 2 spots; (non-corrosive parts) 270 spots
Exposure of rebars was identified in 184 locations during the inspection of the outer walls of the containment building and they were completely repaired.
Some of the voids showed leaked grease, and as a result of checking its leakage path, it was confirmed that there has been no structural crack in the containment concrete. It was assessed that the grease had been leaked along the concrete construction joints* at the time of construction.
* Fine gaps that could be created between solid concrete already in place and new concrete that has been just placed
As a result of additional inspections on the leaky part* of the containment building, two parts penetrated due to pressure from foreign materials (such as nuts) were additionally found and completely repaired.
* When an Integrated Leakage Rate Test (ILRT) was conducted in June 2019, the criteria for stabilization in the containment building was not met during the containment pressure test.
It was confirmed that all the technical standards were met at the following Integrated Leakage Rate Test conducted again after the repair work of the containment building has been completed.
Lastly, the implementation progress of safety enhancement measures was checked. Among 35 items of the “Fukushima Accident Follow-up Measure”, it was confirmed that 31 had been completed and 4 are being implemented. Among 19 items of the “Implementation of lessons learned from accidents and failures in recent 3 years,” 17 have been completed and 2 are being implemented according to the plan.
The NSSC has approved the criticality of the Hanbit Unit 3 based on the result of the periodic inspection so far and will finally confirm safety of the unit through 9 follow-up tests such as power ascension test.
- [November 10, 2020] NSSC Regulates Radiation-emitting Negative-ion Products
NSSC Regulates Radiation-emitting Negative-ion Products
- Radon-generating mattresses will be disposed according to the disposal rules stipulated in the Acts of the Ministry of Environment. -
On November 10th, Hankook Economics released an article, contributed by Lee Dukhwan, a professor at Sogang University, titled “NSSC Is Not Keeping the Public Safe,” and claimed that although the NSSC banned selling of negative-ion generating masks, it neglected 38 kinds of clothing and sundries. The article argued that the advertisements on negative-ion generating products are illegal and should be prohibited by the NSSC; the NSSC gave up on its duty to manage the import, use, and disposal of monazite; and the NSSC ignored the Nuclear Safety Act by burning and burying the radon-emitting mattresses.
About this article, the NSSC explains:
The NSSC ordered to suspend the sales of not only the masks but also all 38 kinds of negative-ion generating products. (Please, see the press release dated November 6, 2020)
The products which the NSSC prohibits the sales and advertisement of are negative-ion emitting products that contain radiation-generating raw materials. It is not true that the Act on Protective Action Guidelines against Radiation in the Natural Environment bans all kinds of negative-ion emitting products.
Article 15 (Safety Standards of Processed Products) Paragraph 2-1 No manufacturer shall manufacture, export, or import any of the following products: 1. A product to which source material or by-product from processing is added to achieve the effects of radiation, such as ionization and excitation;
Article 15-2 (Prohibition against Exaggerated Labeling and Advertising) No manufacturer shall place an exaggerated label or advertisement (referring to any label or advertisement defined in subparagraph 1 or 2 of Article 2 of the Act on Fair Labeling and Advertising) stating that ionization, excitation, or any other activity of radiation emitted from a processed product is beneficial to human health or environment.
The NSSC thoroughly checks all raw materials, including monazite, from import to distribution.
At the stage of import, the NSSC works with the Korean Customs Service (KCS) to check whether the importer is registered in the NSSC’s list and whether the raw materials are authorized before customs clearance. (Notice on Goods Necessary to Obtain Verification of the Head of a Customs Office and Verification Methods according to Article 226 of the Customs Act, Notice of KCS) Distribution status of raw materials is reported by distributors to the NSSC semiannually. (Article 12 of the Act on Protective Action Guidelines against Radiation in the Natural Environment)
Disposal of radon-emitting mattresses will be done by the Ministry of Environment according to the agreement between ministries, regardless of the Nuclear Safety Act.
- [November 10, 2020] NSSC Provides Clear Guidelines on How to Measure Radiation
NSSC Provides Clear Guidelines on How to Measure Radiation
- The NSSC published a guidebook on “Understanding Environmental Radiation.” -
The NSSC prepared and made publicly available a guidebook, titled “Understanding Environmental Radiation”, on November 10th, for the public to correctly understand and accurately measure environmental radiation.
This guidebook introduces types of radiation that exist around us, degrees of their effects on human body, and safety management policies of the government to minimize the effect of environmental radiation.
This guidebook particularly provides detailed guidelines for any member of the general public to easily measure radiation or radon that could be emitted from non-conforming products. It is expected to reduce anxiety of the public that could arise from wrong measurement of radiation.
The NSSC has made publicly available the guidebook at the website of the NSSC in the form of PDF so that the public can easily find it, and distributed the guidebook to related ministries and municipalities across the nation for correct understanding of environmental radiation, their responses to public complaints, and use of programs for public awareness.
- [November 6, 2020] NSSC Orders to Stop Selling Negative-ion Generating Products Manufactured by Nicety
NSSC Orders to Stop Selling Negative-ion Generating Products Manufactured by Nicety
- The seller has voluntarily recalled the products. -
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (Chairperson, Uhm Jaesik, hereinafter referred to as the “NSSC”) confirmed that radiation has been detected in negative-ion generating masks* manufactured by Nicety Co. Ltd. (business closed), and ordered to suspend the sales of all negative-ion generating products that contain the same material used for the masks.
* That radon was detected in negative-ion emitting masks was reported by media on November 2nd
Based on the inspection so far, the NSSC confirmed that radiation was detected in 12 mask samples ranging from 425 to 2,209 Bq/㎥as a result of measuring radiation levels at the site.
The seller that has been selling the masks on online shopping channels told that in 2017, it had acquired a total of 1,678 masks from Nicety, which is currently out of business, and sold 98 masks so far and is keeping 1,508 in stock.
In addition, the NSSC confirmed that the material used for the masks had been used for other types of 38 products, including clothing and sundries, and announced that a total of 16 types of 117 items* had been sold.
* (Women's) briefs (11), boxer briefs (9), sleeveless (4), mountain socks (9), socks (9), body shape correction underwear (2), bra (4), pajamas (11), toe care ( 10)
(Men's) boxer briefs (9), short sleeves (9), mountain socks (11), socks (5)
(Unisex) knee protectors (6), multi protectors (2), Wrist Guards (6)
The NSSC, therefore, deemed that it would take more time for analysis of radioactive materials used for the products and dose assessment due to the use of the products, and decided to suspend sales of all the negative-ion generating products that are currently on the market. Acquired samples will be transferred to the KINS for detailed analysis.
On the other hand, the seller said that it would voluntarily recall all of the negative-ion generating products that have been sold, irrespective of the result of the analysis by the NSSC.
The NSSC has prohibited not only production of negative-ion generating products that contain radiation-emitting raw materials but also their commercial advertisement since the revision and enforcement of the ｢Act on Protective Action Guidelines against Radiation in the Natural Environment｣ in July 2019. The NSSC also stressed that consumers may need to be extra alert to those products when purchasing as their effects are not scientifically proven.
- Message from the Chairperson
- Chairperson Uhm Jaesik
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OPISOperation Performance Information System : Information on Nuclear power plants in Korea IERNETIntegrated Environmental Radiation Monitoring Network : Nationwide environmental radiation monitoring