Actions to prepare refuelling in Almaraz and Ascó

Photos & video: Enusa & C.N. Ascó

Once again in the nuclear sector we have to face a new challenge, very demanding and very complicated, the COVID-19 pandemic. This article describes the actions that have been taken to help our customers to continue the operation of their Nuclear Power Plants and consequently warranting the energy supply to society. Specifically, the actions that have been taken in these conditions to carry out the first services for the fuel reload in Almaraz 1 and Ascó 1 minimizing the risks and implementing as much as possible the best safety conditions.

Since we became aware of this situation and the special measures that were being taken from the different Official Statements to deal with the pandemic, in the nuclear sector and in particular in ENUSA, a very rigorous analysis was made in order to evaluate the consequences and the actions needed to ensure the provision of essential services to our main customers. This analysis was carried out from ENUSA and also jointly, with the NPP’s and with our partners: AIE ENUSA-ENSA, UTE ENUSA-WTS-TECNATOM and ENWESA.

The actions have covered different situations to be well prepared to perform the activities under the special risks that were taking place:

  • Availability and preparation of the personnel and the equipment.
  • Also the implementation of a specific Prevention Plan with measures adapted to the prevention and control of risks caused by the pandemic.
  • Training of people.
  • Procurement of IPE’s, which has been very complicated by the shortage of these equipment.
  • Implementation of special measures for shifts organization and distribution.
  • Search for solutions for the accommodation and feeding of people.
  • Integrated and dynamic planning to be able to assume the different scenarios that the NPPs were evaluating.
  • And other measures that are described in this article.

It is important to remark that from the beginning ENUSA has had the commitment of all the staff, participating very actively in the evaluation and implementation of special measures. The staff was very aware of the situation and the importance of their roll.

In conclusion, highlight once again the way we are working in our sector, which from the beginning of the pandemic has been able to assess with objectivity, professionalism and transparency the situation and take the necessary measures to ensure critical activities. These actions have also been taken in collaboration with our customers and partners. Zero risk does not exist as we know, but we can conclude that things have been done in the best possible way considering the special circumstances that unfortunately exist at the moment.

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