Apr 25, 2017

Nuclear Energy in Spain

Nuclear sites:

Currently, Spain has several nuclear sites that cover the complete fuel cycle: eight nuclear reactors, a nuclear fuel factory in Juzbado (Salamanca) and a Low and Medium Activity Radioactive Waste Disposal at El Cabril (Córdoba).

The Centralised Storage Facility for high activity spent nuclear fuel is 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.

Reactors in operation:

In 2015, the seven currently operative nuclear reactors produced 57,303 GWh, nearly one fifth of the country’s total electricity, which amounts to 20.80 %. This value is higher than that of 2014, when nuclear power plants were also the first source of electricity with the generation of 20.48% of total electric power. This represented 37.01 % of the total emissions-free electricity generated in Spain, 3.6 percentage points more than in 2014. In 2014 nuclear energy was the source that produced the most electricity and operated the highest number of hours.

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 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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