Spain - Plutonium Investigation n°16

Nuclear regulation and control

    The nuclear industry is now managed and regulated by three main state-owned bodies, supervised by the Ministry of Industry and Energy (MINER). These cover research and development (CIEMAT, Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas), ‘front-end' of the nuclear fuel chain (ENUSA, Empresa Nacional del Uranio) and waste management (ENRESA, Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radioactivos).

   The National Waste Management Company ENRESA was established in 1984 to be responsible for all radioactive waste management in Spain, and it has operated the low level radioactive waste disposal facility at El Cabril since 1992. It is a limited liability company, the shareholders of which are CIEMAT and the National Institute of Industry (INI).

   ENRESA is organised as a management company with responsibility to define and control activities in the field of waste management, which, in turn, are carried out by a range of engineering and service firms. Its activities are defined in the General Radioactive Waste Plan (PGRR) which must be submitted yearly to MINER for approval. Spent fuel not contracted for reprocessing abroad is to be treated as high level waste. In early 1998 the government announced several major policy changes for the management and disposal of spent fuel and long-lived intermediate level waste (ILW).

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