Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down After Floods in South Korea

The weather system that caused severe floods in Japan last week has also left parts of South Korea experiencing huge amounts of rainfall and flooding.

At least 5 people have been killed in the floods that struck in the south east of the country on Monday 25 August 2014. Four other people are still missing after a bus was swept away in a flooded river in Changwon.

The worst affected areas are the densely populated cities in the south east, including Busan metropolitan area and South Gyeongsang Province, in particular the city of Changwon. Photos from social media show streets turned to muddy rivers as 1 metre deep flood waters rush through areas of Changwon and Busan.

The rain and flooding was so severe that Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) decided to shut down the Gori-2 nuclear power plant as a safety precaution.

“As excessive water flowed into a building that takes in seawater to cool down turbine steam, we decided to manually halt the operation of the nuclear reactor for the safety of the electrical equipment,” the KHNP told Yonhap News Agency.

Cars floating in the streets of Busan. Photo: Twitter
Cars floating in the streets of Busan. Photo: Twitter
Busan streets turned to muddy rivers. Photo: Twitter
Busan streets turned to muddy rivers. Photo: Twitter
Busan streets under water. Photo: Twitter
Busan streets under water. Photo: Twitter

Rainfall Figures

Local media reports say that as much as 130 mm of rain fell in just 1 hour in Busan during Monday 25 August 2014. 270.5 mm of rain was recorded in parts of Changwon by 4:00pm (16:00 hrs) on 25 August.

WMO rainfall figures, 24 hour period, 24 to 25 August, 2014

  • Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province – 72 mm
  • Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province – 90 mm
  • Wando, South Jeolla Province – 77 mm
  • Yeosu, South Jeolla Province – 64 mm
  • Gunsan, North Jeolla Province – 117 mm

WMO rainfall figures, 24 hour period, 25 to 26 August, 2014

  • Masan / Changwon – 209 mm
  • Ulsan – 67 mm
  • Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province – 63.2 mm