Dismantling and decommissioning of facilities

Enresa is responsible for returning those locations at which there have been nuclear and uranium mining activities to their original state.

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José Cabrera nuclear power plant decommissioning project

Nuclear power plant with the reactor as an orange vault.

Current status of the José Cabrera Nuclear Power Plant

The José Cabrera nuclear power plant, located in Almonacid de Zorita (Guadalajara) was the first plant of this type to enter operation in Spain, in 1968. After 38 years of operation, a Ministerial Order led to its definitive shutdown on April 30th 2006.

The activities to be performed prior to dismantling of the facility included the management of the spent fuel (removal from the plant pool and transfer to the temporary storage installation) and the conditioning of the operating wastes.

By Ministerial Order, the Government has approved on February 11th, the transfer of the title of responsible operator to Enresa for performance of the dismantling of this nuclear power plant.

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Dismanteling of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant.

Description of processes Decommissioning Plan José Cabrera Nuclear Power Plant

Description of processes Decommissioning Plan José Cabrera Nuclear Power Plant

Preliminary activities

The most representative activity was the removal of the spent fuel from the plant pool and its transfer to a temporary storage facility, this being an essential pre-requisite for dismantling. In 2006, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade authorised the licensee, Unión Fenosa Generación, to construct an auxiliary facility for the storage of this fuel.

Following approval by the Nuclear Safety Council, Enresa initiated the manufacturing of the casks and capsules and the construction of the storage facility.

The transfer of the spent fuel and its emplacement in the storage installation concluded in 2009.

José Cabrera nuclear power plant dismantling and decommissioning plan

Enresa initiated the dismantling work after the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade transfered ownership of the installation to it, on February 11th.

"The schedule of activities covers the period 2010 to 2015"

The schedule of activities covers the period 2010 to 2015. The tasks will include the disassembly of equipment and systems, the dismantling of buildings, the disassembly of major components, decontamination tasks, the transfer of radioactive and conventional wastes and declassified materials, landfill and the environmental restoration of the site.

For the efficient performance of these activities, Enresa plans to implement and environmental and quality management system.

Portada de Dismantling and decommissioning of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant

Dismantling and decommissioning of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant

A commitment to society. Brochure which of Dismantling and decommissioning of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant Detalles

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Integrated plan for improvement of the CIEMAT facilities

Aerial view of the Centre for Energy-related, Environmental and Technological Research

Centre for Energy-related, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT)

Performance of the Integrated Plan for the Improvement of the Facilities of the Centre for Energy-Related, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT), known as PIMIC, began in 2000 and has the following objectives:

  • Modernisation of the facilities.
  • Improvement and rehabilitation of infrastructures.
  • Dismantling of the centre’s six shut down and obsolete radioactive facilities.
  • Cleaning of areas with residual contamination from previous activities.

The general rehabilitation project is being undertaken by CIEMAT itself, while the dismantling plan has been commissioned to Enresa.

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Dismantling and decommissioning of the Vandellós I nuclear power plant

Vandellós I reactor during dismantling

Photograph taken during the dismantling of the Vandellós I nuclear power plant

The Vandellós I nuclear power plant is located in the municipality of Vandellós i L'Hospitalet de L'Infant, in the province of Tarragona. The plant initiated its commercial operation in 1972 under the responsibility of the company Hispano-Francesa de Energía Nuclear (Hifrensa). The plant was definitively shut down by Ministerial Order in 1989, after 17 years of operation.

The activities performed prior to dismantling consisted of transferring the spent fuel to France for reprocessing, the conditioning and removal of the operating wastes and the disassembly of those plant installations that were no longer necessary.

These activities were carried out by Hifrensa.

During the second phase, which was commissioned to Enresa, all the facilities, buildings and structures external to the reactor shroud were dismantled and confinement of the reactor was carried out.

Portada de Vandellós: Decommissioning Report

Vandellós: Decommissioning Report

The Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radiactivos (ENRESA) has concluded the decommissioning of the Vandellós I nuclear power plant after five years of complex work. Detalles

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Following the sealing of the reactor, the greater part of the site was recovered and the 25-year dormancy period began, during which time the reactor will remain confined for its radioactivity to decay prior to complete decommissioning.

"The dismantling and decommissioning of Vandellós I, which has been in the dormancy phase since 2003, is a pioneer project in Spain and has become an international reference."

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Environmental Restoration

Aerial view of the Andújar Uranium Mill.

Andújar Uranium Mill: before and after dismantling.

From the time at which the uranium is extracted from the deposits until the time at which it is it loaded as fuel at the nuclear power plants, the ore passes through several different sites: uranium mines, concentrates factories and fuel assembly manufacturing facilities. Enresa undertakes the restoration of these sites once their production activities have ceased.

Environmental restoration of uranium mines

There have traditionally been uranium mines in Spain, specifically in deposits in Castilla y León, Extremadura and Andalusia. This mining activity began in 1948 and culminated in 2000 with the closure of the last works, located in Salamanca.

Since 1997, Enresa has been progressively undertaking environmental restoration tasks, consisting basically of backfilling the works, sealing openings, stabilising the terrain, embankments and slopes and recovering the topography and regenerating its plant life.

Environmental restoration of uranium concentrates manufacturing facilities

Photomontage showing the removal of stepwise structures and restoration of plant life.

La Haba Plant: before and after restoration.

In parallel with the disappearance of uranium mining activities, the installations involved in treatment of the ore have also progressively closed. There are now none left in operation and Enresa has worked on the dismantling and environmental restoration of the following:

  • Andújar Uranium Mill (AUM) in Jaén
  • La Haba plant in Badajoz
  • Elefante plant at Saelices el Chico (Salamanca)

These installations are currently in the surveillance phase, the site dismantling and environmental restoration activities having been concluded.

© 2009 Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radiactivos, S.A. (ENRESA)

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