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Friday, 18 January 2013

Historic Move: IAEA Shifts 47 Japanese Reactors Into “Long-Term Shutdown” Category

Wednesday 16 January 2013
In an unprecedented move, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has shifted 47 Japanese nuclear reactors from the category “In Operation” to the category “Long-term Shutdown” (LTS) in its web-based Power Reactor Information System (PRIS). The number of nuclear reactors listed as “In Operation” in the world thus drops from 437 yesterday to 390 today, a level last seen in Chernobyl-year 1986 and a dramatic step of the IAEA’s official statistics in recognizing industrial reality in Japan. This is without doubt a unique revision of world operational nuclear data.
However, numerous questions remain. The definitions of the IAEA’s reactor status categories remain unclear. Units can remain in the LTS category for many years, without any apparent limit. Japan has now 48 units listed as LTS, one of which is the fast breeder reactor Monju that has not been generating electricity since a sodium fire severely damaged the plant in 1995, while three further units at Kashiwazaki-kariwa have not been generating power since an earthquake hit the site in 2007.


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