Spent Fuel and High Level Waste
from fuel discharged from the three reactors discussed earlier, spent
fuel bearing plutonium will be managed without reprocessing. In December
1986, CSN announced Spain would have some 5,500 tonnes of spent fuel
discharged from its nuclear program by 2020, if the program continued
at a steady state, costing US$5.5 billion to manage.
The first Nuclear Waste Plan was approved in October
1987, with updates published annually. In 1998, the government announced
several major policy changes as regards the management and disposal
of spent fuel and long-lived intermediate nuclear waste (ILW) :
- No decision on a choice of final disposal concept will be taken
before the year 2010, following submission by ENRESA of its recommendations.
- There are to be no further siting activities until 2010, after which
some form of ‘volunteer' process will be introduced.
ENRESA has been developing a spent fuel storage
cask with the American Nuclear Assurance Corporation (NAC) and separately
From the beginning of the search for a site
to dispose of spent fuel and high level waste ran into difficulties
of public acceptance. In May 1987, Portugal objected to research planned
at a site just seven km from its border. In November that year ENRESA
was forced to abandon the research - despite winning a $5.5m EC grant
to support it - after intense protest. In April 1988 antinuclear campaigners
from the Coordinadora Anticementerio Nuclear strongly opposed plans
to investigate a site near the Trillo nuclear plant in Guadalajara
to assess its suitability for a spent fuel store (ATC, Almacenimiento
Temporar de Combustible), resulting in violent clashes with the National
In January 1995 the Energy Minister proposed a new
radioactive waste bill, with a projected cost of $9.36 billion up
to 2050. Further protests took place in 1997 at a possible site near
Córdoba, and in May 1998 a special subcommittee of the Cortes recommended
that Spain kept open all options for high level waste disposal.
To be continued