April 23, 2021

Almaraz | Agreement to request the renewal of the permit of the nuclear power plant – La Provincia

Almaraz | Agreement to request the renewal of the permit of the nuclear power plant - La Provincia


Iberdrola, Endesa and Naturgyhave reached an agreement to guarantee the future of the nuclear power plant inAlmaraz, which must be approved this Friday by the Assembly of the company that owns the plant, informed Europa Press in sector sources.

The agreement, closed this morning after the contacts intensified yesterdaylooking for an 'express' solutionto present this Friday and to try to close the open conflict over the future of Almaraz, is to guarantee the protocol that the three companies and EDP had signed with Enresa for the continuity of the nuclear park and its closure ordered between 2025 and 2035.

The situation between the companies had run aground after Endesa did not accept the imposition of conditions byIberdrola and Naturgynot included in the protocol.

March 31 was the deadline to make the decision to request the renewal for Almaraz, whose connection permit expires in April 2020, under threat to the owners of the plant -Iberdrola (53%), Endesa (36%) and Naturgy (11%) – to face a penalty.

In particular, the introduction of a clause to therequest to extend the useful lifenot to exceed a ceiling of 15% to a figure of recurrent investments of about 400 million euros distanced companies, since Endesa argued that there was no condition in case the necessary investments were higher than expected, being an issue that must be determined by the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN).

The agreement reached betweenthree 'big' electricIt has raised that cap on the figure of planned investments from 400 million euros to 50%.

In this way, the investments to be made in theplant about 600 million euros, and if that cap is exceeded, the owners must sit down again.

Likewise, the rule of unanimously agreeing decisions is maintained, as is foreseen in the economic interest companies (AIE) for which the nuclear ones are governed.

The agreement also guarantees the future in the case of the Ascó and Vandellós II plants, where Endesa and Iberdrola are partners, although in this case abounded investment figure without cap, industry sources indicated.

Extend the life of the plant until 2027 and 2028

According to the 'road map' agreed by the power companies and Enresa, the Almaraz I reactor will stop not before 2027, while the second of its reactors would do it a year later (2028).

Specifically, it assumes that the owners of the Caceres centerthey will ask for 7.4 years, from the date of April 2020 when the license for the first reactor expires and 8.3 years for the second.

25 years of economic activity and employment for Almaraz

With this agreement, 25 years of economic activity and employment are guaranteed for the Almaraz plant, since in addition to the extension of the useful life, subsequently, there will be the period of pre-dismantling and dismantling work.

Last Monday, the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, already reaffirmed in Extremadura that Almaraz was going"to be working at least until the end of the decade"of 2020, as it is 2028, after which it clarified that the one that does not work as of that date "does not mean that it is not going to continue having employment, quite the opposite", but that "it is going to have at least 15 years dismantling".

On 22 February, the Government sent its draft to BrusselsNational Integrated Energy and Climate Plan(PNIEC), which foresees that in 2030 there will still be more than 3 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear in the Spanish electric mix and an orderly closure of these plants in chronological order.

The protocol includes a closure calendar for the Spanish nuclear park, contemplating the ordered and staggered closures of the current seven reactors since 2027 (Almaraz) until 2035 (Trillo). In such a way that, after Almaraz, it would be the turn of Ascó I (2029) and Cofrentes (2030). In 2033, Ascó II would be closed and, in 2035, Vandellós and Trillo. At this rate, the useful life of the plants will be at an average of 45-46 years.

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