Dismantling of Spain’s José Cabrera NPP almost complete

30 June 2022

The dismantling of Spain’s José Cabrera NPP (Almonacid de Zorita, Guadalajara) has reached one of its final milestones: demolition of the large building, the old turbine building, which was converted to be able to undertake the work as an Auxiliary Building for Decommissioning (EAD), waste management company Enresa has said.

The building was 30 metres high and was completely demolished in two months. It mainly comprised reinforced concrete structures on which the high and low turbines, the alternator and the condenser were supported.

The EAD was conditioned during the first years of the dismantling project, during the stage of its preparatory activities. The turbine building was converted for use as a place where conditioning of radioactive waste from the dismantling activities could take place.

Its demolition signals start of the restoration phase (whose plan has recently been approved by the Nuclear Safety Council) and final radiological monitoring of the site.

The José Cabrera plant was the first NPP to begin operation in Spain, in 1968. After 38 years of operation, it was shut down by Ministerial Order in April 2006. This entailed the first full dismantling of a NPP in Spain. After its shutdown in 2006, Enresa began to draft the regulatory documentation for the Dismantling and Decommissioning Plan. Enresa views dismantling projects as an industrial process aimed at the complete release of the site and the proper management of the resulting materials.

The tasks include: the removal of conventional elements; the disassembly of radiological components; decontamination and demolition of buildings; and environmental restoration of the site.

It is estimated that about 104,000 tonnes of materials will result from the dismantling project, of which approximately 4% will be classified as radioactive waste.

Conventional materials are removed and sent to the relevant processing plants. Very low, low and intermediate level waste is periodically sent to the disposal facility at El Cabril.

Image: The José Cabrera NPP (photo courtesy of Enresa)

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