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The Radioactive Waste Management Programme in Spain

[+] Author Affiliations
Alvaro R. Beceiro

ENRESA, Madrid, Spain

Elena Vico, Emilio. G. Neri


Paper No. ICEM2003-4898, pp. 973-981; 9 pages
  • ASME 2003 9th International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation
  • 9th ASME International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation: Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Oxford, England, September 21–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3732-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3731-9
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The paper will start with an overview of the organisational and financing framework established in Spain for the safe and efficient management of radioactive waste and decommissioning of nuclear installations. Since its creation by Royal Decree in 1984, ENRESA, the Spanish Radioactive Waste Management Agency, is in charge of both activities. ENRESA is a state owned company whose shareholders are CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas) and the State Industrial Holding (SEPI), both governmental institutions. In Spain the Directorate General for Energy Policy and Mines of the Ministry of Economy (MINECO) plays the leading role in controlling nuclear activities, since it is the body responsible for awarding licenses and permits for installations and activities within the framework of the existing nuclear legislation. The Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) was set up in 1980 as the only competent body in matters of nuclear safety and radiological protection, and is generally responsible for the regulation and supervision of nuclear installations. Any license granted by MINECO is subjected to the mandatory and binding report of the CSN. The paper will review the steps undertaken for solving the national problems associated with the management of radioactive waste and decommissioning of nuclear installations, including uranium mining and milling facilities, and will address the lessons learnt from the activities developed by ENRESA and the future goals to be met. Regarding the L/ILW (Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste) programme, the main milestones of El Cabril L/ILW disposal facility will be described highlighting the most relevant events as well as the foreseen activities, most of them focus on optimizing the capacity of the already operating installation. The elaboration and signature of a Protocol, at the end of 1999, for collaboration on the radiological Surveillance of Metallic Materials in order to detect the possible presence of radioactive materials is worth to be mentioned because of the involvement and agreement of several public and private organisations as well as the administration. Concerning the SF and HLW (Spent Nuclear Fuel and High Level radioactive Waste) programme, the solutions adopted in order to solve the insufficient capacity of the storage pools at NPPs will be described as well as the evolution of the final disposal programme since its beginning and the foreseen goals to be achieved before the year 2010. The last activities will deal with the experience gained during the decommissioning of Vandellós I NPP and the future decommissioning projects. The decision taken in 2002 by the Spanish authorities to close down José Cabrera NPP in April 2006, before its 40 years lifetime, has had an impact on ENRESA’s activities.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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