The government is opening the door to seven sites for the temporary storage of nuclear waste


The Ministry of Environmental Transition and Demographic Challenge proposes the implementation of a unified centralized temporary warehouse (ATC) to store high-level nuclear waste or, alternatively, to build seven decentralized temporary warehouses (ATDs) scattered around nuclear facilities. Power plants: Almaraz (Caceres), Asco and Vandello II (Tarragona), Cofrentes (Valencia), Santa Maria de Garonia (Burgos), Jose Cabrera and Trillo (Guadalajara).

These are two alternatives envisaged in the proposal for the Seventh General Plan for Radioactive Waste, which the Ministry of Environmental Transition has just released for consultation. These solutions will be the first step towards the final storage of spent fuel and high-level waste in the Deep Geological Survey (AGP) from 2073. The selection process for this final underground reservoir will not start until 2029, according to the published proposal. This Monday.

Theresa Ribera Department has launched a public information procedure for the document, the first version of which was published by the public company Enresa in March 2020, shortly after the detention was ordered.

This plan should replace the waste plan approved in 2006, which expired in 2010. In 2018, after coming to power, Ribera promised to be ready in 2019. He did this shortly after issuing a controversial ATC suspension order that the PP executive decided to build in Villar de Canas (Cuenca) out of suspicion of land on his chosen site.

A document released this Monday names the launch of these temporary warehouses, or ATDs, which the ministry stressed should have an additional facility for maintenance work on containers where spent fuel is stored, as opposed to temporary individual warehouses (ATIs). Which were to be built next to the reactors, after the Cuenca project was halted and due to lack of space in the waste reactor basins.

These seven warehouses, located in the five provinces of Spain, would be a more expensive solution than the ATC, although they would have the benefit of the low resistance of the local population to this type of installation. Its estimated cost in 2023-2100 will be € 19,234 million, compared to the $ 17,109 million that the document will cost the ATC alternative.

The ministry emphasizes that “the decision that will ultimately be taken will inevitably require a high degree of social, political and institutional consensus, in addition to a good technical assessment and public participation framework.” As stated in the consultation paper, “the social acceptance of the installation of these features determines the whole process and, consequently, provides a high degree of uncertainty.”

Gradually extinguish

The initial version of the 7th GRWP considers the reference scenario, which includes the shutdown of nuclear power plants from 2027 to 2035, in accordance with the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC) and the shutdown protocol. The order for the stations, signed in March 2019 between Enresa and the electricity companies, stipulates that Almaraz I will close in 2027, Almaraz II one year later, Ascó I and Cofrentes in 2030, Ascó II in 2032, and Vandellós II and Trillo. Will cease to operate in 2035.

The document envisages the start of dismantling of nuclear power plants three years after their final shutdown, except for Vandelo I, the last phase of which will be implemented from 2030, as well as the continuation of capacity expansion of current ATIs. Fuels spent on factories, allowing their operation and dismantling.

After the end of the public information period and the analysis of the submitted reports and allegations, the Ministry will develop a final version of the plan, which will be approved by the Council of Ministers after the report of the Nuclear Security Council. Listening to autonomous communities on land planning and environmental issues. The approved plan will be further notified to Cortes Generales and the European Commission in accordance with the Radioactive Waste Management Directive.

Source: El Diario


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