Spanish Ministry Asks Regulator To Review Garoña Decision

By David Dalton
23 January 2012

Garona nuclear power plant, Spain.23 Jan (NucNet): Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has asked nuclear regulatory authority Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN) for its opinion on whether there is any obstacle, from a regulatory point of view, to the amendment of a ministerial order that limited the operation of the Santa Maria de Garoña nuclear plant (pictured left) to 6 July 2013.

The ministry also asked the CSN to advise on what conditions, if any, should be included in a new ministerial order that would leave open the possibility of renewing the existing operating license for a period of six years after its expiration.

The previous Socialist-led government in July 2009 limited Garoña’s further commercial operation to four years, despite a CSN opinion that the 446-megawatt boiling water reactor unit was safe to operate until 2019, provided licensee Nuclenor carried out modifications.

At the time, nuclear industry group Foro Nuclear said the government’s decision was based solely on ideological criteria and ignored CSN’s recommendations.

Mariano Rajoy, the conservative who took office as prime minister last month, said during the election campaign that he would revise the Garona order provided the plant could be operated safely past 2013.

CSN said in a statement that the ministry also asked it to advise on what documentation Nuclenor must submit with an application to renew the licence and when it must be submitted.

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