Slight increase in nuclear capacity in 2014
During 2014 five new reactors were connected to grids, and one was retired – Vermont Yankee in USA. In addition, the relatively undamaged Fukushima units 5 & 6 were officially decommissioned. This gave a net gain of two units to 437, and 2.4 GWe to 377.7 GWe. In China, Ningde 2, Fuqing 1 and Fangjiashan 1 were all grid-connected, along with Rostov 3 in Russia and Atucha 2 in Argentina. In the USA, Fermi 2 was uprated 15-20 MWe.
Construction starts (first concrete) were recorded for Ostrovets 2 in Belarus, Barakah 3 in UAE, Yangjiang 6 in China (actually Dec 2013) and the small Carem25 in Argentina, bringing the world total under construction to 70 units. Japan’s 48 reactors remained closed, though there is progress on restarting several, with approvals for four, and another 17 under review.
New Chinese reactor connected to grid
Unit 2 of the Fangjiashan plant in Zhejiang province has been connected to the grid this month, only three weeks after start-up and 66 months after construction start, with construction delay due to post Fukushima safety reviews. This brings the China nuclear total to 23 reactors and 20,115 MWe net.
Platts. China NP
Five old and small Japanese reactors likely to decommission
It appears that the five oldest and smallest of Japan’s nuclear power reactors may be closed down permanently and decommissioned. Kyushu’s Mihama 1 and 2 reactors, Japan Atomic Power's Tsuruga 1, Chugoku’s Shimane 1, and Kyushu’s Genkai 1 will not be restarted, subject to agreement by prefecture authorities in Fukui, Shimane and Saga and approval by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). All are relatively small (320 to 529 MWe net) and by October this year all will be more than 40 years old, so that major expenditure on upgrades is hard to justify even though all of them already have life extension approvals. Two larger units, Kansai’s Takahama 1 & 2, also reach the 40-year mark in 2015 but these have had significant work done already and the costs of upgrading will be more readily recoverable, though Kansai is uncertain about their future. METI has approved draft provisions for cost recovery of decommissioning all seven units. Final approval for decommissioning and allocation of costs is expected by midyear.
Press reports. Japan NP
Other papers significantly updated in the WNA Information Library (see WNA web site): Reactor table
, South Korea
, Russia NP