Decision made on location of Spain’s Temporary Centralized Storage facility
Following the second cabinet meeting of the new Spanish government’s Council of Ministers it was decided to locate the Temporary Centralized Storage facility in Villar de Cañas, a farming town of 1,000 inhabitants located in the province of Cuenca, 135 kilometers southeast of Madrid. The project will require an investment of 750 million euros and will create 300 direct jobs.
Stress Tests in Spain
Meeting the deadlines imposed by the European Union, Spanish nuclear power plants (NPPs) submitted their final reports on the stress tests to the Nuclear Safety Council (the Spanish regulatory body) on October 31. The regulator had previously evaluated these reports before December 31, in keeping with the deadline for drawing up and consolidating the national reports in the various Member States.
The scenarios analysed in this complementary reassessment of the beyond design basis safety margins basically included the following:
Earthquakes, floods and other extreme natural events
Loss of safety functions due to loss of electric power supply and loss of the final heat sink (cooling capacity)
Management of severe accidents occurring in the reactor core and in spent fuel repositories
The results of the national report reveal that not only is there compliance with the design bases stipulated for each installation, but that there are also additional margins that ensure the maintenance of safe plant conditions in the face of any extreme events that may be postulated beyond the said design bases.
The Nuclear Safety Council also gave a very positive opinion on the fact that the plant owners have additionally proposed certain improvements in both equipment and resources in order to increase even more existing safety margins, as part of Spanish NPPs’ commitment to continuous improvement from the very beginning of operation.
The Government Analyzes whether Garoña should operate longer
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism (MINETUR) asked the Nuclear Safety Council whether there is any impediment, in this regulator’s opinion, to modifying the Ministerial Order dated July 3, 2009, which agreed upon July 6, 2013 as the date of definitive cessation of operation of the Santa Maria de Garoña NPP and authorised its operation until that date.
The ministry has also requested the CSN to issue a report on the limits and conditions that, should the ministerial order be modified, it deems advisable to stipulate for such modification, in order to leave open the possibility of renewing the current operating license for a further period of six years as of its expiry date.
In July 2009, the CSN considered that Garoña NPP met the requirements for renewing its operating license until 2019. However, the government decided to ratify its closure on July 6, 2013. One of the first decisions of the new Government, which won the November elections, was to consider the possibility of extending plant operation until 2019.