SEOUL, May 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's oldest nuclear reactor will resume operation following an extensive safety checkup, the science ministry here said Friday.
The Kori reactor, which began operation in 1978 in South Korea' s southeastern coastal town of Gori, was shut down in April due to malfunction of electric circuits and underwent an inspection amid safety concerns following Japan's nuclear debacle unleashed by an earthquake and tsunami in March.
With the government green light, the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., an operator of the 33-year-old Kori reactor, is expected to soon resume power generation, local reports said.
The government, meanwhile, also plans to spend some 1 trillion won (922 million U.S. dollars) for the next five years on improving safety of all 21 atomic power reactors in the country.
Under the current government blueprint, South Korea will continue running the nation's oldest reactor through 2017, long past its original 30-year lifespan, despite opposition from local civic groups calling for the total shutdown of the decrepit reactor.