07.03.2016_No21 / News

Spain’s Post-Fukushima Measures ‘More Than 80% Complete’

Security & Safety

7 Mar (NucNet): Measures being carried out to improve safety and security at Spanish nuclear stations following the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan are more than 80 percent complete, industry group Foro Nuclear said.

Spain’s seven reactors provided around 21 percent of its electricity in 2015.

Foro Nuclear said the measures are the result of EU stress tests carried out following Fukushima-Daiichi and combined in an action plan published by the European Nuclear Safety Regulator group (Ensreg) in June 2012. Spain’s Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) approved a national action plan in 2012 and a revision to the plan in 2014.

In the five years since Fukshima-Daiichi, Spanish nuclear stations have implemented actions and measures to strengthen their safety and ensure enough capacity to withstand situations beyond their design bases, Foro Nuclear said.

Work to improve protection against extreme natural events such as floods and seismic effects, is almost 100 percent complete, Foro Nuclear said.

Operators have reinforced prevention and mitigation systems, and added portable equipment and additional cooling systems that can operate in the event of the “electric isolation” of the site, Foro Nuclear said.

The major problem encountered at Fukushima-Daiichi was the loss of water and power to maintain effective reactor cooling.

Spain has built a common external support centre for emergencies (CAE) and is building support centres for emergency management at each nuclear station site. Foro Nuclear said the CAE is complete. It has been built “close to a major city and with communications to all nuclear sites”.

Improvements made over the past few years at Spanish nuclear power stations reinforce their fitness for long-term operation, Foro Nuclear said.

“In Spain the stress tests proved “the solidity of [nuclear station] designs and their high safety levels”, Foro Nuclear said.

Spain has seven commercially operational reactors providing around 21 percent of its electricity, according to figures released by Foro Nuclear for 2015.

An eighth unit, Santa Maria de Garoña, was shut down in December 2012, but could be restarted. Owner Nuclenor blamed the shutdown on a tax on energy production and spent nuclear fuel that it said would have made Garoña’s operation economically unviable.

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David Dalton

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