The government has started the process of updating the General Radioactive Waste Plan, the long-term roadmap for how waste will be managed, how nuclear power plants will be dismantled and how much it will cost. The Ministry of Ecological Transition’s proposal envisions two alternatives for what to do with nuclear waste over the next 60 years: pursuing the project of building a single central nuclear cemetery or setting up seven warehouses in Spain, one at each nuclear power plant. from the country.
Enresa, the public company responsible for the management of all these nuclear waste management businesses, openly argues that the most advantageous option in all areas is to build a single nuclear cemetery for all radioactive waste produced in Spain. It is an option advocated by the electricity companies that operate nuclear power plants.
“The option of a central temporary warehouse (ATC) remains the best solution economically, environmentally and socially”, convicted José Luis Navarro, President of Enresa at an informative breakfast at the New Economic Forum this Monday. “And the best solution would be to place ATC in an environment that is already nuclear,” he said. That is, near one of the existing nuclear power plants.
The problem with site selection is the need for social, political and institutional consensus and how to overcome the population’s unwillingness to live with nuclear waste. “ATC against the area cannot be done. There are candidate municipalities that show that they are willing to accept if there is a compromise,” said the President of Enresa. To reach this consensus the problem with the “interconnection”, the governments of the autonomous communities for their refusal, or at least their reservations about hosting such an installation.
“This is a state matter and should be a state decision,” Navarro said of how many warehouses will be used to store radioactive waste in the coming decades. “If we can’t have the state vision, we will need to have seven warehouses. But we think an ATC would be better at Enresa”. In any case, the head of the publicly traded company emphasizes that building both a single nuclear cemetery and seven warehouses are “equally safe options.”
2.1 billion difference
The government seeks reconciliation within the social, political and energy sector, thus leaving both options open: a single cemetery (central temporary warehouse or ATC) that should be ready by 2030, or a warehouse per plant (decentralized temporary warehouses or ATD) . although two alternatives are preserved. building a network of seven warehouses will cost 2,100 million euros, According to the manager’s own estimates. To seek precisely this consensus, the Ministry of Ecological Transition initiated a public consultation process on the draft PGRR.
The government estimates that dismantling all nuclear power plants and long-term management of all waste will cost 24,435 million (if a single central cemetery is built) or 26,560 million (if one chooses seven warehouses spread all over the place). Spain). Amounts financed by the operators themselves by contributions to a fund through the payment of certain rates for the production of nuclear power or the management of radioactive materials.
Companies interested in the nuclear sector (large power companies and dozens of related industrial companies) are demanding a single waste graveyard in Spain, a plan that has been pursued for years by successive governments. They are also asking the Government to choose the location of the central cemetery so that it is close to where the cemetery should finally be built. deep geological repository (DGA), He said he will store the waste forever and that the Government’s plan aims to be operational in 2073.
Enresa has prepared an initial proposal to approve a new PGRR in 2020. At the time, the company opted to build a single central warehouse, which should be operational by 2028 (an already unattainable deadline), although it left the door open for building several warehouses in different locations. His estimate at the time was that the cost of waste management would be €23,044 million over the century.
Spain has to face a decision on the storage of waste for an adequate period of time, as all facilities are interrupted. “Enresa cannot move forward with hypothetical or desirable solutions, but it can move forward with real solutions,” warned Navarro. The government agreed on a program with the major electricity companies. Gradual closure of all Spanish factories between 2027 and 2035 which would lead to a complete nuclear power outage in the country. The government’s plans are to continue the gradual and gradual shutdown of the seven currently operating Spanish reactors, agreed in 2019. Iberdrola, Endesa, Naturgy and EDP.
Villa de Cañas project
The Government of Pedro Sánchez, who recently arrived in Moncloa, paralyzed the project to build a central nuclear warehouse at Villar de Cañas in Cuenca, and it thinks it refuses to start over. If the last option chosen was to build a single warehouse for waste from all factories, the Manager would have to look for another alternative location.
The manager resigned to continue the election of Villar de Cañas. technical problems and large additional costs This will require tackling these, especially because of doubts about the quality of the land that Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) technicians and independent studies have already warned about.
The construction of a temporary storage facility for nuclear waste is already far behind schedule. The original plan envisioned it to be ready by the end of 2018. But more than a decade after the Council of Ministers commissioned the municipality of Villar de Cañas to set up the nuclear cemetery, there is still no warehouse. this Villar de Cañas City Council remains willing to host an ATC For all waste in Spain, the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha flatly rejects the project.