Access to nuclear plants

Issue 6 2023 Access Control & Identity Management

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) is a subsidiary of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). It operates large nuclear and hydroelectric plants in South Korea, which are responsible for about 30% of the country’s electric power supply.

Nuclear power plants are classified as A-level national important facilities in Korea, similar to the Blue House Executive Residence and the Korean National Assembly Building. In order to safely manage and operate nuclear materials and nuclear facilities, physical security protection is strictly managed in accordance with the Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Radiation and Disaster Prevention Act.

KHNP was in need of a fully redundant system that should provide enhanced performance while still being able to interoperate with existing equipment. In addition, the new system had to meet the strict guidelines for security requirements presented by the National Intelligence Service.

Since the existing electrical system of the site was designed for centralised control, a system with compatible architecture was needed so there could be gradual migration away from the aging first generation server. Additionally, some doors had to be controlled separately by stand-alone readers.

Due to the A-level security requirements of this critical infrastructure site there were many features necessary to meet a high level of security, maintainability, and fire interlocking function. System configuration and installation standards had to meet certain guidelines of domestic government agencies. Suprema was able to use its in-house customisation team to design a solution that met the enhanced security needs of KHNP.

Distributed and centralised

By Installing Suprema’s CoreStation Intelligent Controller, distributed and centralised architectures were possible at the same time. BioEntry P2 and BioStation A2 terminals work as stand-alone devices in the distributed portion, and they can be connected to CoreStation as readers in a centralised system as well. One of the most critical tasks was a migration with the existing system and firmware customisation. By migration of first-generation terminals and BioStar2 software, it was possible to overcome the technical obsolescence of obsolete devices.

Suprema supported a redundant server connection by customisation so that in case of failure of the primary server, the redundant server can be implemented and keep the entire system working safely. Key benefits of the solution included:

1) Managing both the centralised system and distributed system at once. Due to robust performance and expandability, CoreStation provided central management functions and also operated with Suprema stand-alone devices for flexible design.

2) Achieved higher performance by migration of existing device and system. Migrating data of BioStar first generation with BioStar2 improved usability and efficiency over system management.

3) Met government security regulation. By implementing a redundant server and multiple cards selection mode, it provided a high level of security.

Fast facts

Location: Gyeongju, Ulsan, Daejeon/Republic of Korea

Application: Access control

Technology: Access control and integration

Suprema partner: Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co.


• 30 x CoreStation

• 500 x BioStation A2

• 30 x BioEntry P2


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