South Korea has been forced to shut down two nuclear reactors to replace components provided with fake quality certificates.
Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo stressed Monday that the non-core components pose no safety threat and are not connected to a series of malfunctions at South Korea's nuclear reactors this year.
Hong warned that replacing counterfeit parts and conducting comprehensive safety tests will take months. He added that the shutdown of reactors five and six at the Yeonggwang nuclear complex will result in power shortages during the coming winter months.
South Korea's 23 nuclear reactors supply more than one-third of electricity in the country. After the meltdown of three reactors in Fukushima, Japan in March of 2011, many people in resource-poor South Korea are questioning whether the risks of nuclear power outweigh the benefits.