By Chris King • 21 January 2022 • 19:27
The companies that own the seven operating nuclear reactors in Spain have been informed today, Friday, January 21, that they must present a dismantling plan to the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) within 18 months.
According to regulations, Enresa, the National Radioactive Waste Company, is apparently responsible for the planning and carrying out the dismantling of these nuclear power plants. It must also deal with the final management of spent nuclear fuel, and any radioactive waste that is generated.
Instruction IS-45 establishes the rules on the dismantling of facilities in the early stages of operation. Enresa has a fund that is nourished by the contributions of the plants themselves to guarantee the economic viability of the dismantling.
Despite the fact that more and more European countries are betting on nuclear power, the seven operating reactors will close in 2035. Nuclear power has been at the forefront of electricity production in Spain for ten consecutive years, being responsible for 33 per cent of all electricity without emissions, and operating for around 90 per cent of the hours of the year.
Brussels has already asked all EU countries to invest half a billion euros in new nuclear power plants. However, the Government continues its crusade against nuclear power, and, along with three other EU states, has rejected considering nuclear power, or natural gas, as ‘green energy’.
The CSN points out that, after the definitive withdrawal from service, it is necessary to progressively eliminate the remaining radioactivity that may remain in the affected areas. Only when the residual risks of the plant and its old site have been eliminated completely, or to an acceptable minimum, can the plant be considered ‘decommissioned’.
The ultimate goal of dismantling any nuclear power plant is to ensure that the uses that may be given to its old site “do not pose radiological risks to the population or the environment”.
These restrictions or precautions can only be respected if there is rigorous planning and organisation of the activities to be carried out during dismantling. Therefore, the CSN points out, it cannot be entrusted to any conventional demolition company.
It is a nuclear activity that must be prepared with specialised engineering, and above all, with perfectly trained operators and supervisors, as reported by larazon.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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