The Nuclear Industry in 2022

After the situation we lived as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and despite the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Spanish nuclear industry has continued to increase its participation in numerous projects at the national and international level and to create quality jobs.

The Spanish nuclear fleet has operated according to the highest safety criteria, guaranteeing a solid and continuous supply of electricity and contributing to the stability of the Spanish power grid. The licensees of the Spanish nuclear power plants again invested some €30M per unit in maintenance and upgrades. Thus, it can be said that they are safe and are provided with the latest improvements, so they are ready for their long-term operation from a technical and an organizational point of view.

20.26% of all the electricity produced in Spain in 2022 was nuclear in origin. Bearing in mind that its installed capacity is only 5.98 percent of the total, nuclear was the technology that produced during the most equivalent hours at full power. The KPIs of Spanish NPPs—for the entire fleet: load factor: 90.40%; time availability factor: 91.98%; unit capability factor: 91.32%; and unplanned capability loss factor: 2.50%—were among the best in the world, which shows the level of excellence in their operation.

In fact, nuclear is the only technology that has produced 20+ percent of all the electricity consumed in Spain for twelve years in a row. In 2022 this amounted to 31.75 percent of all the electricity generated without polluting emissions.

The excellent nuclear results in 2022 were achieved, once again, thanks to the commitment, experience and involvement of all the companies that make up the Spanish nuclear industry, as well as to the training, qualifications and dedication of their employees.

The inclusion of nuclear energy—by means of a Complementary Delegated Act approved by the European Parliament and Council—as one of the mechanisms of the European Union’s taxonomy was highly relevant at the international level.

As a result of 2022 being as a very difficult year for the energy industry due to both price increases and the uncertainty in the security of supply, which triggered a global economic crisis, a large number of countries around the world—some of which have had nuclear programs in place for many years now and some that do not have any such programs yet—decided not only to ensure the long-term operation of their nuclear reactors but also to announce the construction of new units or the development of small modular reactors.

These decisions show the importance of nuclear power as an energy source that ensures the supply of electricity, reduces dependence on foreign energy sources and curbs polluting emissions by not emitting CO2.

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