The fifth Spanish nuclear power plant: Ascó I and II
Nuclear power plants Ascó I, Ascó II and Vandellós II produce over 24 billion kilowatts-hour of electricity every year. This is approximately 50% of the electric energy consumed in the area of Cataluña. This annual production is also three times the consumption of Barcelona and 80% the consumption of Madrid.
Nowadays, one of the most visible buildings on the site is the forced draft cooling tower, 160 meters high and 120 meters wide on its base
Ascó NPP is located in the region of Ribera d’Ebre (province of Tarragona), between the towns of Ascó and Flix, on the right bank of the Ebro River. The site is 65 Km. from Lleida and 100 Km. from the Ebro river’s mouth.
How the idea came about
The construction of the Ascó I and II NPPs lasted over ten years. In 1974, a construction license was granted to Ascó I and a year later to Ascó II. After the licenses were granted, construction work started. This long process began with the adaptation of over 250 hectares of land.
It wasn’t until June 1983 when the reactor in Unit I was synchronized for the first time, although its commercial operation did not start until December 1984. The second group was first connected in October 1985, and initiated commercial operation in March 1986.
Nowadays, one of the most visible buildings on the site is the forced draft cooling tower, 160 meters high and 120 meters wide on its base. This element was not included in the initial project, but after a few years of operation (in 1955) it was built with the purpose of having some additional cooling and complying with environmental regulations.
The technology of these sites is known as Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). It uses elements with 3-5% enriched uranium dioxide as fuel.
Unit I belongs to Endesa and is a PWR reactor designed by Westinghouse, with a 1,032.5 MW power. As to Unit II, it is property of Endesa (85%) and Iberdrola (15%) and is a PWR reactor designed by Westinhouse, with 1,027.2 MW power.
For further information:
- The first Spanish nuclear power plant: José Cabrera
- The second Spanish nuclear power plant: Santa María de Garoña
- The third Spanish nuclear power plant: Vandellós I
- The fourth Spanish nuclear power plant: Almaraz I and II
- The sixth Spanish nuclear power plant: Cofrentes
- The seventh Spanish nuclear power plant: Trillo I
- The eighth Spanish nuclear power plant: Vandellós II