Menu Close

A Very Strong Finish for S.Korean Nuclear Power in 2021

South Korea’s nuclear power output this month should register its best performance ever, coming in at 22,215 average MWs (aMWs). December output was +17.2% above the prior month’s level, and +15.2% higher than that for December of 2020 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. South Korea Nuclear Power Output: Dec 2021 vs. Prior Month & Prior Year

Source: CapraView

The last time we saw a level exceeding 20,000 aMWs was in April of 2016, and this is the 4th consecutive month that output has hovered above the 5-year envelope (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. South Korea Nuclear Output (Jan 2016 to Dec 2021)

Source: CapraView

December’s performance benefited from the return of 3 units in late November (Kori 3, Kori 4 and Shin-Kori 1), which were able to make full-month contributions. Shin-Kori 3’s return at the start of December also added to this month’s total.

With the return of these 4 units, all but 2 of South Korea’s 24 nuclear power units are now in operation. And with Shin-Hanul #1 (1,400 MW) on track to start up in mid-2022, South Korea is poised to ratchet up its nuclear output to even higher levels next year.