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    Nuclear Safety Council proposes to install renewables on decommissioned nuclear sites

    February 8, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras


      The president of the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), Juan Carlos Lentijo, has given this Tuesday a new vision on the future of nuclear facilities in Spain, proposing that the site of these facilities, once dismantled and "after the mandatory radioactive decontamination process" can be reused for industrial uses. "They have a powerful high-voltage connection with the electricity grid that could be very attractive for the development of renewable energy plants, for example," explained Lentijo in his first meeting with the press since taking office.

      Until now, experts in the sector had been dealing with the idea that the future of nuclear plants would remain a barren area with no other alternative uses. "It should be remembered that the idea of zero contamination does not exist, just as it does not exist in nature. But that does not mean that these lands should be discarded," the executive explained.

      Nuclear plants in Spain

      The closure roadmap is still in force

      The Nuclear Safety Council has no decision-making capacity whatsoever on the future of nuclear plants in Spain, since its responsibility is focused on ensuring their safety whether they are in operation or whether their dismantling is addressed, the fact is that the chances of Spain signing up for extensions of these plants such as the one announced by Belgium are very remote.

      "At the moment, what is in force is the roadmap agreed between the Government and the companies in which a dismantling schedule was set," Lentijo assures. Asked about the possibility that some political positions advocate that Spain should delay this process, the CSN discards the political analysis, but warns that any decision in this regard should be "planned with sufficient time so that all those involved have time to react".


      Definitive storage by the end of the century

      Lentijo discriminates between the expansion decision announced by France and Belgium on the one hand and that of Germany. "Germany has only slipped the activity for a few months, it has no fuel for longer and they will not be able to continue operating. Dismantling a nuclear power plant is a process that must be planned in advance," he warned. At the same time, he explained that the CSN would need at least three years to prepare a report to ensure that the plants now with an end date are fit and safe to continue operating beyond the 40 years that most of them now exceed. "Although everything depends on the proposal, it is not the same to extend a nuclear plant for two years than for 20," he pointed out.

      Lentijo also referred to the complex issue of radioactive waste. "The construction of the Deep Geological Storage (AGP) must be taken very calmly. There is no margin for error", he assured after recalling that it will not be operational until the 80s of this century, beyond 2073 as had been contemplated until now.

      Warehouses in the plants and guaranteed safety

      Until that happens, Spain must continue to rely on the temporary storage facilities that will take over each of the plants that will be gradually dismantled from 2027, when Almaraz is scheduled to close, and 2035, when Trillo and Valdellós will close, according to the latest version of the 7th Waste Management Plan.

      As for operational safety, Lentijo also ruled out that the Spanish nuclear fleet is at risk of suffering the problems faced by the French one in the last year, which has even forced the shutdown of almost half of the French plants, with the consequent supply problem in the country.

      "To summarize the situation very much, the French facilities have had to deal with some problems of cracks in the pipes close to the primary distributor of the plants that generated a lot of safety risk. We are confident that this problem will not occur in Spain," he said.


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