Jul 28, 2017

Nuclear Energy in Spain

Nuclear sites:

Currently, Spain has several nuclear sites that cover the complete fuel cycle: eight nuclear reactors: Almaraz I and II (Cáceres), Ascó I and II (Tarragona), Cofrentes (Valencia), Santa María de Garoña (Burgos), Trillo (Guadalajara) and Vandellós II (Tarragona); a nuclear fuel factory in Juzbado (Salamanca) and a Low and Medium Activity Radioactive Waste Disposal at El Cabril (Córdoba).

Spain has plans for a Centralised Storage Facility for high-activity spent nuclear fuel, currently under construction in Villar de Cañas (Cuenca). This facility will store all the country’s spent nuclear fuel in one single place and is expected to enter operation in 2018. Until this is in operation, spentfuel is being perfectly surveyed, controlled and stored at the nuclear power plants. The management of radioactive waste generated in Spain, as well as the dismantling of nuclear sites, is the responsibility of Enresa, the National Nuclear Waste Company.

Reactors in operation:

In 2016 nuclear energy was production leader in the Spanish electric system, producing 21.39% of its total net electricity with the seven nuclear reactors currently in operation. In 2016, nuclear electric production amounted to 35.18% of the non-emissions electricity produced in Spain.  With an installed power in 2016 of 2,865.7 MW, 7.45% of the total, Spain's seven operative nuclear reactors are essential to the stability of the electric system, as they are always available (24 hours, 365 days a year). In the last decade, nuclear energy has provided a constant, non-intermittent and emissions-free supply of one fifth of the electricity we consume.

Nuclear power plants Spain

(*) The operating permit for the Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant expired on July 6th 2013. On May 27th 2014, Nuclenor requested the renewal of the operating permit.

(**) Nuclenor: Endesa 50% and Iberdrola 50%

Santa María de Garoña:

The Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant was shut down on December 16th 2012, and since July 6th 2013 it is undergoing administrative cessation of activity for reasons other than nuclear safety and radiological protection.

During this time the totality of the staff was maintained, continuing with all the activities necessary to keep the site under the best conditions that would guarantee its safety and capacity to function again.

Nuclear power plants in dismantling phase:

The Vandellós I nuclear power plant was shut down in 1989, and is in latency period since 2004 (this is a 25-year waiting period until complete dismantling).

The José Cabrera Nuclear Power Plant, also known as Zorita, was shut down on April 30th 2006 and is currently being dismantled. The Vandellós I plant was shut down in 1989 and is in dormancy since 2004 (a 25-year waiting period until total dismantling is completed).

Other sites

In addition to its nuclear power plants in operation and in the dismantling stage, Spain has other nuclear sites such as the fuel elements factory property of the company Enusa Industrias Avanzadas and located in Juzbado, in the province of Salamanca.

Moreover, the very low, low and medium level waste produced in Spain is stored, controlled and monitored at the El Cabril Storage Facility, in the province of Córdoba. The national radioactive waste company (Enresa) is in charge of managing this site. As to high level waste, it is temporarily stored at the nuclear power plants, specifically in specially-designed pools. If their storage capacity becomes saturated, then the spent fuel is stored in a dry temporary storage facility – also known as ATI. In any case, Spain is currently building its Temporary Centralized Storage Facility (ATC in Spanish) in Villar de Cañas, Cuenca. This industrial facility is designed to store the spent fuel and radioactive waste produced in Spain in one single place.


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