SNE Calls For The Stop Of Spain’s Nuclear Phase-Out

The Spanish Nuclear Society (Sociedad Nuclear Española – SNE, ENS Member Society) published a manifesto that calls on the country’s government to stop the nuclear phase-out, expected to be completed by 2035.

No definitive decisions have been taken with regard to the contribution of nuclear energy in Spain in the 2030-2050 period, so SNE urges the government to change its strategy by the end of the year. Then it will be too late to stop the permanent shutdown of Almaraz-1, SNE says.

The Society lists 10 points explaining the need for keeping nuclear power plants operational:

  • The EU roadmap expects electricity demand to double by 2050.
  • Nuclear is essential to have a balanced energy mix based on low-carbon sources, that guarantees a stable, economic, safe, and sustainable electricity supply. Nuclear plays also a key role in assuring energy independence, especially when facing complex geopolitical scenarios and climate change.
  • Dependence on fossil fuels is more and more unsustainable. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that each year air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths.
  • At the current production rate, emissions are expected to rise by 14% in this decade, seriously hampering the 2015 Paris Agreement targets.
  • The European Commission classified nuclear energy as sustainable to achieve the decarbonisation goals by 2050,
    supported by scientific studies, and analyses. The United Nations also warned in 2021 that climate targets could NOT be achieved if nuclear power is excluded from low-carbon energy sources.
  • Nuclear energy produces 50% of the low-carbon electricity in the European Union.
  • Spanish nuclear power plants operate safely, reliably and efficiently, with excellent results. They are designed, maintained and operated in a robust and safe manner following the highest international standards and the supervision of an independent body such as the Nuclear Safety Council (Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear – CSN).
  • The Spanish nuclear industry is a source of qualified employment, economic wealth and social well-being. It generates more than 20,000 qualified jobs and contributes more than €1bn a year in taxes.
  • Nuclear continuously operated for several decades, generating more than 20% of the electricity consumed in Spain and helping to contain energy costs.
  • As of today, it is technically impossible to meet the decarbonisation targets set out in the PNIEC (National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan) if 4 nuclear power plants are closed by the end of 2030.

The full SNE Manifesto is available here (in Spanish).

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

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

In 2021, the Spanish nuclear fleet produced 20.8% of the country’s electricity.