Design & Construction of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation at Cofrentes Nuclear Power Plant

As a result of its operation, spent fuel is generated by the Nuclear Power Plant of Cofrentes, which is stored in pools located in its fuel building. These pools have reached the limit of their capacity and there is no centralized alternative to which to take this fuel.

In order to address the needs of space in the pools and thus allow the continuity of the operation of the plant, it was planned the execution of the installation of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation in which the spent fuel will be stored in casks specifically designed for this purpose.

The installation has been designed as an outdoor installation, within the limits of the C.N. Cofrentes, and licensed to store 24 casks of spent fuel of the HI-STAR 150 type. It is complemented by auxiliary structures and connecting roads, for the transport and maneuvers for handling and positioning the casks.

Its licensing has been processed as a modification of the design of the Plant, regulated by Articles 25, 26 and 27 of the Regulation of Nuclear and Radioactive Facilities (RINR). Additionally, the provisions of article 35 of the Environmental Assessment Law 21/2013 have been complied for an installation of this type.

The authorization for construction was obtained in July 2019, and the beginning of the works in August of that same year. Despite unforeseen external events such as the heavy rains occurred between 2019 and 2020, and the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, both the main facility and its auxiliary structures were completed in August 2020.

Cask loading is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021, freeing up space in the pools, and allowing to carry out the next refueling expected in October 2021.

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