posted on Aug, 4 2013 @ 10:48 PM
Some of you may recall this story having broke awhile back in a much smaller, much less threatening sounding version. At the time, the story was
presented to the world as more of an administrative issue than anything to be worried about in safety concerns. Especially with the Fukushima calamity
still fresh in everyone's mind, it was reassuring to hear.
Unfortunately, it wasn't near accurate. Here is how it's developed and grown into a potential nightmare.
The scandal started after an anonymous tip in April prompted an official investigation. Prosecutors have indicted some officials at a testing
company on charges of faking safety tests on parts for the plants. Some officials at the state-financed company that designs nuclear power plants were
also indicted on charges of taking bribes from testing company officials in return for accepting those substandard parts.
These parts went into 14 of 23 Nuclear Power stations around South Korea. Not a very large nation by landmass to start with, it's a serious situation
to say the least. However, initial reports had indicated non-essential systems were involved. That's now changed.
The country has already shuttered three of those reactors temporarily because the questionable parts used there were important, and more closings
could follow as investigators wade through more than 120,000 test certificates filed over the past decade to see if more may have been falsified.
In a further indication of the possible breadth of the problems, prosecutors recently raided the offices of 30 more suppliers suspected of also
providing parts with faked quality certificates and said they would investigate other testing companies.
A company that was supposed to test reactor parts skipped portions of the exams, doctored test data or even issued safety certificates for
parts that failed its tests, according to government investigators.
Among the parts that failed the tests were cables used to send signals to activate emergency measures in an
(Emphasis by me)
Believe it or not, the full 2 page story is worse than the outtakes I can supply by space and policy. It's a crisis, in my choice of words. One
section discusses hundreds of thousands in cash being pulled from the home of one of Korea Hyrdo's officials. In that case, they believe the money
was straight bribery for parts contracts with a major supplier and not directly tied to the false inspection and potentially faulty parts. It shows
the depth of the problem they're facing, however.
Officials of the same Korea Hydro are charged with ordering the falsification of some of this material. Korea Hydro is a subsidiary of the Korea
Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) which, unlike Japan more diverse industry, is the sole owner and operator of all the plants in the nation. So, a
scandal at one is a scandal for all. It's a true mess.
I hope South Korea can get on top of this and quickly. They took the Nuclear road for power to the point of being near exclusive in the nation's
needs. They'd even been looking to start heavily marketing export and foreign contract work to build and service Nuclear plants abroad, by details
here. Now? South Korea's prime minister has been said to compare their industry to the Mafia.