Authorizations for Spanish nuclear power plants
Questions and answers

Authorizations for Spanish nuclear power plants

As described on the Royal Decree 1836/1999, from December 3rth, authorizing the Rules on Nuclear and Radioactive Sites (in Spanish), published in the Official State Bulletin no. 313 from December 31st 1999, under its II Title, article 12, a classification is established for the authorizations required by nuclear sites.

Preliminary construction or location authorization

This analyzes the suitability of the chosen location. The authorization allows the owner to request a construction authorization for the site, and to begin the authorized preliminary infrastructure construction work.

Construction authorization

It allows the owner to initiate the site’s construction and to request the exploitation authorization.

Exploitation authorization

It allows the owner to load the nuclear fuel or to introduce nuclear substances into the site, to carry out the nuclear testing program and to operate the site within the established conditions in the authorization. This authorization shall first be granted provisionally, up until the satisfactory finalization of nuclear tests. It also allows the owner, once the exploitation that the site was conceived for is finalized, to carry out those operations imposed by the Administration previous to obtaining the dismantling authorization.

Modification authorization

It allows the owner to introduce modifications in the site’s design, or into its exploitation conditions, in those cases that contemplate alterations in the conditions, norms and criteria that the exploitation authorization is based on or which call for a significant equipment change.

Authorization for execution and assembly of the modification

It allows the owner to initiate the production, execution and assembly of those modifications that, due to their amplitude or because they call for significant work and setups, must be specifically authorized by the General Energy Directorate or the Nuclear Safety Council, if they so consider it.

Dismantling authorization

Once the exploitation authorization is extinguished, this will allow the owner to initiate the decontamination, equipment disassembly, structure demolition, and material removal activities. This should ultimately permit the site’s total or restricted liberation. The dismantling process will end in a closure declaration that will liberate the owner from responsibility of the site and will define, in the case of restricted liberation of the site, any applicable usage limitations as well as who will be responsible for their maintenance and for supervising their compliance.

Additionally, the following must be authorized:

  • The temporary storage of nuclear substances in a site under construction that does not hold an exploitation authorization.
  • The ownership change of the nuclear site in any case.

The planned authorizations in the aforementioned sections will be granted following a report from the Nuclear Safety Council, as per this Regulation.

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