Bungling Nuclear Safety Fire at Kori Nuclear Power Plant Goes Undetected for Over an Hour via Business Korea

Employees couldn’t hear audio alarm, couldn’t see visual alarm

A fire occurred in the nuclear fuel storage facilities of the Kori Nuclear Power Plant located in Kijang County, Busan City, but none of the workers was aware of it for over an hour.

According to the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation, the fire occurred at 4:26 p.m., Nov. 11, at Kori Power Plant Unit 4, burning up a waste dryer along with some gloves and towels. It is assumed that the dryer overheated and started the fire while drying wet gloves.

An employee, while looking around the site, detected smoke at 5:38 p.m. and extinguished the fire after 14 minutes. “One of the two smoke detectors is designed to be mute, and the other one sounded an alarm but the employees could not hear it,” the corporation explained. The alarm was displayed in the main control center but the employees did not see or hear anything.

The slow response to the fire is troubling, since the facility trained to fight them just this summer.

This past June, the Kori Nuclear Power Plant ran a fire drill in the headquarters building to train its employees on early fire extinguishing skills and test the disaster manual. About 300 employees, firemen, and security guards at Kori Nuclear power plant participated in the drill by following the announcements, catching the fire in the early stages with fire extinguishers and fire hydrants, and test-driving the fire trucks.

Power Plant Attempts to Cover Up Reactor Shutdown

But this fire is only the latest incident at the Kori Nuclear Power Station this year.

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