Cofrentes 2030. License renewal

On 18th march 2021, the Spanish Ministry of Ecologic Transition (MITERD) granted Cofrentes NPP a license renewal, after the evaluation of the Spanish nuclear regulator, Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN) . This license renewal allows Cofrentes NPP to continue its operation from 20th march 2021 until 30th November 2030.

Prior to obtaining this renewal, Cofrentes NPP has carried out a Periodic Safety Review (PSR) and developed an Integrated Ageing Evaluation and Management Plan (PIEGE), specific for the new period, in which the plant life will exceed 40 years of life, entering into the Long Term Operation (LTO) period.

As a final result of the PSR, the plant has obtained a total amount of 81 Strengths and 61 Areas for Improvement, with 100 Proposed Actions associated. Most of the Strengths come from the Safety Factors related to the plant design and the Structures, Systems and Component (SSC) condition, with a very positive result in both aspects. The rest of Strengths come from plant processes considered as robust in a measurable manner during the evaluated period, as well as from the adherence to the newest standards and best practices of the nuclear industry.

Importance to safety of the 61 Areas For Improvement has been assigned, being the following the ones with a higher category:

  • Equipment modernization programs: divisional batteries chargers, Diesel Generators electromechanical protections, Diesel Generators voltage regulators, Standby Gas Treatment System radiation monitors.
  • Improvements in essential service water system piping thickness surveillance program.
  • New connection between essential water service system and residual heat removal system, additional to the existing ones, as a mean of alternative emergency cooling.
  • Lowering of core damage frequency by modification of ATWS (Anticipated Transient Without Scram) inhibition logic.

In addition, after CSN evaluation, new requirements have been stablished, stated in Technical Complementary Instructions (ITC) and letters submitted by CSN (57 requirements), and licensee commitments (168 commitments). Following, the most significant ones are listed:

  • Additional analyses related to ultimate heat sink and essential service water system.
  • Adaptation to the most updated standards related to internal flooding.
  • Updating of in-service inspection analysis and risk informed testing.
  • Modification of seismic instrumentation due to adaptation to the most updated standards.
  • Adaptation to the most updated standards related to non-safety related HVAC with filtration function.
  • Additional analyses related to PIEGE.

PSR and CSN evaluation conclude that Cofrentes NPP is fit for continuing its operation during next period. The safety level of the plant will be continuously improved as the Proposed Action program resulted from PSR safety factors evaluation is implemented.

Lastly, a project like this, consisting in a license renewal, needs the commitment and contribution of all the human team of the plant. This great work is the result of several year work developed not only by the plant personnel, but also by the main plant contractors.

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