IAEA Concluded A SALTO Review Mission To Spain

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts completed a review of long-term operational safety at the Ascó Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Spain.

The Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (SALTO) follow-up review mission was requested by the plant’s operator, Asociación Nuclear Ascó-Vandellós II (ANAV). The mission reviewed Ascó NPP’s response to recommendations and suggestions made during an IAEA SALTO mission in 2021.

A SALTO peer review is a comprehensive safety review addressing strategy and key elements for the safe long-term operation of nuclear power plants and complementing OSART missions, which are designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety.

The review team – comprising four experts from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Sweden, as well as two IAEA staff members – said the plant had:

  • Defined and implemented an appropriate scope-setting methodology to identify the components and structures to be managed for a safe LTO.
  • Implemented an advanced digitalization process to ensure easy retrievability, traceability and long-term preservation of ANAV’s documents.
  • Completed full demonstration of effective ageing management in the Ageing Management Review of passive and also of active mechanical components.

The team noted that further work is necessary by the plant to ensure that:

  • A comprehensive programme to confirm the resistance of electrical components to harsh conditions, a so-called equipment qualification programme, is fully implemented.
  • A comprehensive strategy for ageing management of structural elements of electrical cabinets and panels is in place.

The plant management expressed a determination to address the remaining areas and to continue cooperating with the IAEA on LTO.

Read the IAEA Press Release.

Spain currently has 7 operational nuclear power plants: two units in Almaraz and Asco, and one in Cofrentes, Trillos, and Vandellos.

All those units were connected to the grid for the first time from 1981 to 1988.

In 2022, the Spanish nuclear fleet produced 20.3% of the country’s electricity.