The move came after the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held talks with people living near the Wolsong nuclear power station, about 370 km southeast of Seoul, from April to July.
An onsite dry storage facility has been in operation for the four Candu pressurised heavy water reactors at Wolsong. Dry storage in modular air-cooled canister storage (Macstor) modules is used for the fuel after six years of cooling in pools.
Seven Macstor modules with a capacity of 168,000 bundles were constructed in 2010. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power applied in April 2016 to add a further seven Macstor modules at Wolsong.
South Korea has been pushing to increase storage space at Wolsong because the existing Macstor modules are nearing capacity.
In January South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) approved KHNP’s application to construct the additional capacity.
Press reports said construction of the new modules can be completed in 19 months at a cost of around $33m.