The preliminary analysis of major changes in world nuclear statistics during the year 2012 shows that three new units were connected to the grid, two in South Korea in January (Shin-Kori-2, Shin-Wolsong-1) and one in China in December (Ningde-1), while four units were shut down permanently, two in the UK (Oldbury-A1, Wylfa-2), and one each in Spain (Santa Maria de Garoña) and Canada (Gentilly-2).
Two Canadian reactors that were in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s category “long term shutdown” (Bruce-1 and -2) were brought back online after respectively 15 and 17 year long outages. Two additional Canadian reactors (Pickering-2 and -3) were moved by the IAEA from long term to permanent shutdown status.
As of 1 January 2013, there are 430 reactors in operation (compared to 429 a year ago) or rather are considered “operational”, because a considerable number of units have not generated any electricity in a long time. In Japan, for instance, there are still only two reactors operating (out of 44 “operational” units, considering the 10 Fukushima units condemned). Others are awaiting restart permission.
The essential news of the year end clearly came from China. After an interruption of a year and a half, between October and December 2012, the country relaunched its construction program and poured concrete for the base slab of four new reactors: two Chinese CPR-1000 units (Fuqing-4, Yangjiang-4), a Russian AES-91 VVER-1000 (Tianwan-3) and an experimental high temperature gas-cooled reactor (Shandong Shidaowan). Construction work started earlier in the year on reactor projects in Russia (Batiisk), South Korea (Shin-Ulchin-1) and the United Arab Emirates (Barakah-1).
As of 1 January 2013, there are 64 units “under construction” (compared to 60 a year ago), not including two construction sites in Japan (Ohma, Shimane) whose status remains unclear.