DECOMMISSIONING of Spain’s oldest nuclear reactor will start ‘very soon’ according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Production was halted at Garoña in 2012 after joint owners Endesa and Iberdrola under holding company Nuclenor objected to a new tax.

Attempts by Nuclenor to get a new licence came to nothing and in 2017, the government said it not would give fresh authorisation due to too much uncertainty concerning its viability.

A ministerial order has now authorised decommissioning firm Enresa to take over ownership of Garoña from Nuclenor.

Dismantling of the site- which came online in 1971- will take a decade and be done over two phases in a project approved by the Nuclear Safety Council.

Around 350 people will work at Garoña with a budget of €475 million which does not include the management of any ‘spent’ fuel.

The first phase until 2026 will see the systems, structures and components of the turbine building dismantled along with modifying systems and facilities needed for the management of the resulting waste which will be transferred to a temporary storage area.

Phase two until 2033 will feature the final dismantling of the radiological buildings as well as decontaminations, declassifications and demolitions to ensure the site is restored to a safe state.


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