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Counterfeit cable claims lead to ouster of key official for South Korean nuclear power plants

A series of stories about counterfeit power cables and forged documents led to a major shake-up in leadership of nuclear power plants in South Korea, where two plants were shut down and plans to open two other plants were delayed.

Multiple news reports said that Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) President Kim Kyun-Seop, who led the state-run company that oversees the country's 23 nuclear reactors, was fired, and that KEPCO Engineering and Construction CEO An Seung-Kyoo, who headed the South Korean nuclear-power-plant design-and-technology company, was expected to be fired over the scandal. The story unfolded last year as revelations led to reports that thousands of components used in nuclear plants had falsified quality certificates. Dozens of KEPCO employees were prosecuted for taking bribes from contractors to accept substandard parts and machinery.

The resulting investigation found that four commercial nuclear power reactors had power cables supplied with counterfeit certificates. Reuters reported that the cables with forged documents, worth US$5.35 million, were provided in 2008. It was not clear if that number referred to the value of the cables for the four reactors, and the producers of the power cables were not identified.

The resulting investigation found that four commercial nuclear power reactors had power cables supplied with counterfeit certificates. A report by Associated Press writer Youkyung said that the falsified cables, which were responsible for cooling nuclear fuel or preventing the release of radioactive materials during an emergency, failed nine of 12 key tests related performance for a "loss of coolant accident."

An article in The Times of India said that President Park Geun-Hye demanded action over what she called "unpardonable" corruption in the nuclear power sector. It said that state prosecutors launched an extensive probe into the case that found eight suppliers faked warranties covering thousands of items used in a number of reactors. The Shin-Kori No. 2 and Shin-Wolsong No. 1 reactors were shut down for replacement of the power cables while two others remain closed pending replacement of their power cables.

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