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Semiconductor Production Lines Temporarily Shut Down Due to Earthquake
No Damage to Even Sensitive Facilities
Semiconductor Production Lines Temporarily Shut Down Due to Earthquake
  • By Michael Herh
  • November 15, 2017, 13:00
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A 5.4-megnitude earthquake in South Korea triggered no disruption or damage to local semiconductor production lines as well as to the nation’s nuclear power plants including low- to mid-level radioactive waste disposal facilities.
A 5.4-megnitude earthquake in South Korea triggered no disruption or damage to local semiconductor production lines as well as to the nation’s nuclear power plants including low- to mid-level radioactive waste disposal facilities.

 

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) announced that a 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck at 2:29 pm 9 km north of Buk-gu, Pohang City of North Gyeongsang Province on November 15. 

It was confirmed that the earthquake triggered no disruption or damage to semiconductor production lines at Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Some vibration-sensitive semiconductor equipment was temporarily shut down after detecting the earthquake but it turned out that there was no disruption to the production lines as they immediately restarted. 

Some vibration-sensitive equipment, such as photo equipment that prints semiconductor circuits on wafers by beaming light on them stopped automatically after detecting the earthquake, but it was confirmed that there was no production disruption as the operation resumed normally shortly after the suspension of the equipment.

SK Hynix also announced that there were no damages or interruptions to its production lines in its semiconductor factories in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province and Cheongju in North Chungcheong Province. "Some vibration-sensitive equipment was automatically suspended to prevent major damage in the event of an earthquake and no damage was done as the production lines immediately returned to normal operation," a company official said. 

LG Display also said that its Paju factory suffered no damage and some equipment was temporarily shut down at its Gumi plant and immediately went back to normal operation after checking their conditions.

Some equipment of Samsung Electronics’ and SK Hynix’s semiconductor production lines and LG Display’s panel production line were temporarily shut down when the strongest earthquake in Korean history hit Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province in September of last year. 

On the other hand, POSCO said that Pohang Works in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province hit by the earthquake was not damaged and its facilities were in normal operation. POSCO said the building was shaken by the earthquake but there was no damage. 

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission also stated that there was no abnormality in the safety of the nation’s nuclear power plants including low- to mid-level radioactive waste disposal facilities. 

“Our nuclear power plants are in normal operation without stopping power generation or reducing power output in spite of the Pohang Earthquake," said Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) which operates nuclear power plants in Korea. “We are checking facilities of Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 since an earthquake warning alarm was sounded at Wolsong No. 1 which is nearest to the epicenter." KHNP explained that there was no equipment failure at or radioactive leak from Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant which is 46 kilometers away, closest to the epicenter of the earthquake among the nation’s nuclear power plants.