Storage Plans for Nuclear Waste Draw Flak
Environmental News Service, August 1999
Spain, August 5, 1999 (ENS) - Environmental non-governmental organisations
in Spain have reacted angrily to last weekend's decision by the country's
Council of Ministers to build a dry storage facility for spent nuclear
fuel at the Central Nuclear Trillo 1 nuclear power station in the central
decision, on the grounds of "urgent national interest", came despite
vehement opposition by local and regional governments.
to 128 containers each holding 21 nuclear fuel elements are planned
to be stored at the site, which the umbrella campaign group, Ecologistas
en Acción, claims is more than double the future requirements of the
Trillo plant, the most modern in Spain.
with its central position and unusual ownership structure - Trillo is
jointly owned by all Spain's major electricity generators - this has
led the NGOs to suspect an undeclared intention of storing high-level
waste from the country's entire nuclear power industry at the site at
a later date.
observers say this claim was lent some credibility by the government's
simultaneous announcement that its fifth national plan for radioactive
waste envisages a 10 years delay in the choice of a site for a deep
geological storage facility for high-level radioactive waste - a decision
which was supposed to be taken this year.
the same time, a source at Enresa, the national body responsible for
the management of nuclear waste, confirmed that "fuel elements could
possibly be stored at the new Trillo site for a minimum of 50 years."
company says that the projected temporary spent fuel repository, which
will extend the fuel pool's storage capacity, "will be exclusively used
for the Trillo 1 Nuclear Power Plant, as certified by the General Directorship
of Energy of the Ministry of Industry and Energy."
1 generates six percent of Spain's electricity. It has an installed
power of 1,066 MW. It has a German-technology Siemens-KWU pressurized
water reactor which uses enriched uranium as fuel.
1998 annual report states that the plant has not recorded any operating
incidents related to nuclear safety and radiological protection.
Published in cooperation
with ENDS Environment Daily, Europe's choice for environmental news.
Environmental Data Services Ltd, London.