Almaraz nuclear power plant will be the first power plant to be shut down in Spain

The Government has just presented the roadmap for nuclear power plant dismantling and waste management with the VII General Radioactive Waste Plan proposal. The document confirms the regular shutdown of seven reactors that remained active between 2027 and 2035. Since the manager has already agreed with the operators in March 2019.

According to the program, most Almaraz center He will be the first to stop working. Reactor I will stop working in November 2027. Reactor II will follow in October 2028.

Then, Ascó I (Tarragona) in October 2030, Cofrentes (Valencia) in November 2030, Ascó (Tarragona) in September 2032, Vandellós II (Tarragona) in February 2035 and Trillo (Guadalajara) in May 2035.

The plan envisions the dismantling of nuclear facilities three years after their definitive shutdown.. It also includes the construction of a centralized storage facility (ATC) for spent fuel and high-level waste – an alternative that is currently blocked – or seven decentralized temporary storage facilities (ATDs) at nuclear power plant sites. The waste will be stored ‘temporarily’ for sixty years while the final solution consists of a Deep Geological Repository (AGP), where it will remain at a depth of between 500 meters and one kilometer for thousands of years.. Finland is the first country in the world to build such a warehouse.

The cost of shutting down the nuclear switch and storing waste safely could be up to 26,500m euros. Although the government is clear that there is no turning back on this calendar, some experts argue that the shutdown of nuclear power plants should be reconsidered because of Spain’s dependence on other energy sources such as gas, as demonstrated by the war in Ukraine. This in turn skyrocketed the cost of electricity.

In the case of Extremadura, the Board has already stated that the owners of the resort should be –iberdrola, naturalness Y Endesa– Those who want more useful life for Almaraz. If so, the regional Administration will support the decision. However, there will be interest on behalf of these companies if they receive financial assistance from the Government. This has been stated several times.

waste

In 1984, the State established Enresa, a public company whose mission is responsible for the management of radioactive waste and the dismantling of nuclear facilities. The only facility that has so far been almost completely dismantled is José Cabrera’s facility in Almonacid de Zorita (Guadalajara).

Enresa sources explain that the most complex process is “managing the active parts of the installation.”especially the internal elements of the reactor (where nuclear fission chain reactions are initiated, maintained and controlled) and the container itself containing them. These, along with spent fuel, are the most active parts of a discontinued nuclear power plant. These are complex tasks.”

The Valencian company GDES (1700 workers and a total turnover of 124.5 million in 2021) has a branch dedicated to the dismantling of nuclear power plants. The firm successfully completed post-segmentation work on the ship of the Swedish Barsebäck-1 nuclear power plant and reached a career milestone by dismantling a 600 MW reactor for the first time. José Tomás Ruiz, Vice President of GDES and Director of Nuclear Services, points out that this is an industrial process that is carried out in a complex environment due to the radiological constraints involved, and everything has to be planned down to the smallest detail. “It’s important to understand that the dismantling of a plant is planned years in advance, and it really started long before the exploitation ended,” Ruiz said.

According to Enresa, work begins three years after the cut, as spent fuel must be cooled in the facility’s pools. Decommissioning itself can be extended for up to 10 years. “Disassembly is not just the demolition of buildings. It is a process that requires the dismantling of large equipment. Due to radiological conditions, very complex underwater cutting techniques must be used in conjunction with robotic equipment and other methods. It is more or less surgical. In addition, materials must be managed in a way that reduces radioactive waste. All these processes are regulated by nuclear safety authorities. is inspected and they require very complex procedures to ensure that work is done in safe conditions and that the environment is protected at all times.” denotes the vice president of GDES.

Source: Informacion

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