Government grants Vandellos ten more years

22 July 2010

Unit 2 of the Vandellos power plant near Tarragona in north-eastern Spain has been given approval by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce to continue operating for a further ten years. Spanish nuclear safety regulators - the Nuclear Safety Council, (Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear, CSN) - submitted a report to the ministry in June approving the unit's continued operation. As a condition of the ministry's approval, Vandellos managers are required to make a number of changes to the plant during the next ten years, including a design modification in the plant's fire protection system. Vandellos unit 2 - a 1045 MWe pressurized water reactor - began commercial operation in 1988. It is 72% owned by Endesa, while Iberdrola holds the remaining 28%. The unit's previous operating licence would have expired on 26 July. The operating licence of the two-unit Almaraz nuclear power plant was extended for a further ten year in early June, but in July 2009 the Garoña nuclear power plant was given regulatory approval to operate only until 2013 instead of the June 2019 date it had requested. The period of operation of Spain's reactors has no fixed term and operating licences are renewed periodically after the evaluation of the CSN and approval by the ministry.