25.01.2019_No18 / News in Brief

Spain Nuclear Operator Has Good Basis For LTO, Says IAEA Review

Plant Operation

25 Jan (NucNet): The operator of the Ascó and Vandellós nuclear power stations in Spain has established a good basis for managing the planned long-term operation of three units at the facilities, an International Atomic Energy Agency pre-Salto (safety aspects of long-term operation) review mission has concluded.

The Vandellós nuclear station in Spain. Photo courtesy Foro Nuclear.

The mission was requested by Anav (Asociación Nuclear Ascó Vandellós), which operates both stations.

The IAEA said Anav is preparing a licence renewal application for the government and the Nuclear Safety Council, Spain’s nuclear regulator. Anav plans to apply for a lifetime extension of Units 1 and 2 at Ascó and Unit 2 at Vandellós beyond the current 40-year licences.

The units, all pressurised water reactors, began commercial operation in 1984, 1986 and 1988 respectively.

The 12-member Salto team, which completed its 10-day mission on Wednesday, reviewed preparedness, organisation and programmes related to LTO. Salto reviews are based on IAEA safety standards.

The team said: “Anav demonstrated that it is implementing preparations for safe LTO and ageing management and LTO activities already meet many recommendations of IAEA safety standards.”

The team said Anav should analyse and document a review of IAEA safety standards as a basis for periodic safety reviews, and should demonstrate that management of ageing of all active structures, systems and components is in place.

Anav should also implement a complete management of ageing of electrical, instrumentation and control components for LTO, the Salto team said.

The station management has asked the IAEA schedule a Salto mission to Ascó’s Units 1 and 2 in January 2021 and to Unit 2 at Vandellós in 2023.

Earlier this month nuclear industry group Foro Nuclear said Spain’s fleet of seven commercial nuclear reactor units generated 53.2 TWh of electricity in 2018, a slight fall from 55.6 TWh in 2017 but still the largest source of generation in the country.

Energy secretary José Dominguez said in November that Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors before 2030.

He said the current socialist government does not plan to extend the lifespan of any of the country’s reactors beyond their current 40-year operating periods.

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David Dalton

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