DATE=10/5/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=SOKOR NUKE SPILL (L-O) NUMBER=2-254678 BYLINE=HYUN-SUNG KANG DATELINE=SEOUL INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A leak at a nuclear plant in South Korea has exposed 22-people to radiation. The plant's owners say the radiation was contained in the building. As Hyun-Sung Khang reports from the South Korean capital, Seoul, the government is investigating the incident. TEXT: The accident occurred when radioactive water leaked during maintenance of the power plant's water- cooling pump. Twenty-two men received a dose of radiation of 440-millirem, which is nine-percent of the legally permitted exposure. The Ministry of Science and Technology said none of the men were hospitalized. A spokesman for the Korea Electric Power Corporation, which runs the reactor, said the leak was small and not harmful. He added that the radiation did not leave the building in Wolsung -- in the southwest of the country. The company is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident. The government is also sending independent assessors to investigate. The state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation runs 14-nuclear reactors in Korea, which supply about 40- percent of the country's electricity. South Korea lacks natural power resources and the country's government, like that of Japan, favors nuclear power due to its low production costs. It plans to build another 16-reactors, by the year 2015. But environmental groups have demanded the government halt its nuclear plant-building program, raising concerns over safety. A spokesman for Green Korea United, a local environmental group, said a major radiation leak similar to that which took place in Japan last Thursday, was likely to be repeated in South Korea. That incident was Japan's worst-ever nuclear accident, during which 55-people, mainly plant workers and emergency personnel were exposed to radiation. Three remain in serious condition. South Korean government officials said afterwards that they did not anticipate a similar accident happening in Korea, and they planned to pursue an ambitious nuclear-power program. (SIGNED) NEB/HSK/RAE 05-Oct-1999 14:28 PM EDT (05-Oct-1999 1828 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .