Spanish government starts turnaround

11 May 2012

Moves to partially revoke an order to close the Garoña nuclear power plant in 2013 have formally begun.

Garona (Nuclenor)_200
Garoña (Image: Nuclenor)

Spanish nuclear regulators ruled in 2009 that Garoña could safely operate until 2019, but the government of the time only extended its licence to 2013. At the time, the four-year extension was seen as indicative of a shift away from a government policy of an arbitrary 40-year life limit for nuclear plants: Garoña's single 446 MWe boiling water reactor started operation in 1971, and would have operated for 42 years by July 2013.

The Spanish government voted in February 2011 to remove the statutory 40-year limit for the country's nuclear plants. Earlier this year, the Spanish cabinet took the first steps towards overturning Garoña's 2013 closure date, moving to ask national nuclear regulator - the Consejo de Securidad Nuclear (CSN) - for its advice on continued operations at the plant.

Now, according to Spanish national nuclear forum Foro Nuclear, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has agreed to initiate the formal procedure for partial revocation of the 2009 order which laid down a closure date of 6 July 2013. Garoña's operator, Nuclenor, has welcomed the ministry's move, Foro Nuclear reports.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News