Nonproliferation
Resource
Fact Sheet

Spent Nuclear Fuel in Spain

Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Spain

  • June 2, 2020
  • 4:09 pm

Highlights

4,975 MTU spent nuclear fuel in storage (2016)
6,679 MTU spent nuclear fuel projected by 2050
1969 First year of commercial nuclear operation
7 operating nuclear power reactors
0 operating research and test reactors
7.57 GW(e) installed nuclear capacity (2016)
4.68% nuclear share of domestic energy production (2018)

Regulator: Nuclear Safety Council
Power Operators: Iberdrola Generacion Nuclear S.A., Centrales Nucleares Almaraz-Trillo A.I.E., Asociacion Nuclear Asco-Vandellos A.I.E.

Nuclear Power stations in Spain (as of 2019)

Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Practices

  • Prior to 1983, an unknown small amount of spent fuel was sent abroad to be reprocessed without waste being returned
  • Reactor fuel is stored temporarily in pools or, at the Trillo, Jose Cabrera and Asco sites, in dry Individualized Temporary Storage onsite
  • Currently, efforts are focused on constructing a centralized storage facility that will operate for 60 years; operational year is unknown
  • The National Organization of Radioactive Waste Management (ENRESA) conducts research into radioactive waste including safety assessment and dismantling

Obligations

  • Spain acceded to Euratom’s safeguards agreement (INFCIRC/193) in 1989, and the additional protocol entered into force in 2004
  • Spain signed the Joint Convention in 1998 and ratified in 1999
  • Future planning includes final disposal in a deep geological repository as suggested in a Euratom directive, as reprocessing is not considered a policy option and spent fuel is treated as high-level waste
  • Waste management is a public State service overseen by ENRESA, as laid out in the 6th General Radioactive Waste Plan, and waste is owned by the Spanish government after disposal
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