SUMMARY

 

EDITORIAL
-
At the Center of the Debate.

PRESENTATION

INTERVIEW
- Xavier COLL,
Westinghouse Managing Director and Vice President Southern Europe - EMEA Region.

LONG-TERM OPERATION
- Energy transition and long-term operation of the Spanish Nuclear Power Plant fleet
Antonio González Jiménez

- Nuclear LTO, vital in meeting EU long-term energy and climate goals
Yves Desbazeille & Witold Strzelecki

- EPRI’s research for effective aging management programs Sherry Bernhoft
- IAEA activities to support safe long term operation of nuclear power plants Robert Krivanek
- Regulatory aspects to be taken into account for the renewal of operating licenses for Spanish Nuclear Power Plants associated with long-term operation
Carlos Mendoza Gómez, Alejandro de Santos Callejo & Jaime Nasarre Muro de Zaro

NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD
- Palmiro VILLALIBRE ARES, Nuclear Safety Officer. IAEA’s Safety Assessment.

NEWS

   
EDITORIAL

AT THE CENTER OF THE DEBATE

We are experiencing a revival of a supposed debate about the continuity of nuclear power generation that remains, once again, on the surface, in the headlines, in the media positioning, and in which, as the Spanish Nuclear Society, we demand a rigorous dialogue, based on real facts and arguments and one that does not use nuclear energy as a mere ideological or electoral resource.

Nuclear energy has no political nature, and although many to seem to constantly forget about it, each day it contributes a good part of the energy that drives the country (more than 20% last year). It is surprising to see how mixed messages appear about the continuity of operation of the Spanish nuclear park in the fight against climate change and the decarbonization of the economy, demonizing without arguments a mode of electric energy production that does not emit greenhouse gases, which is running smoothly and that contributes to achieving the desired goals. Closing the nuclear power plants to meet our environmental objectives and commitments regarding emissions is discourse as superficial as it technically unsustainable. Or closing them at the symbolic age of 40 years because that was the “useful life” that they were designed for, without giving importance to, due to the technological investments and modernizations that have been carried out on a recurrent basis, the fact they are perfectly capable of continuing to operate, just as it is common practice in most countries where this same type of power plant is authorized to operate until at least 50 or 60 years of age, complying with the highest safety standards on which our own national regulations are based.

If we must do without nuclear energy, someone should explain and specify how are going to do so, and what the risks are that we could be exposed to. The thoughtful, rigorous, and depoliticized analysis conducted by the multidisciplinary committee of experts on energy transition, who presented the report with the results of their work last April, draws clear conclusions on the essential role of nuclear energy under realistic criteria within the framework of an efficient, sustainable, and low carbon energy transition: the early closure of nuclear power plants would lead to a significant increase in costs, an increase in emissions, and would require additional firm power to guarantee the extreme situation coverage rate.

In Spain, we have a regulatory framework comparable to that of most advanced countries for the use of nuclear technology which does not set a limit for the operational life of nuclear power plants. The Nuclear Safety Council, the only body responsible for nuclear safety and radiological protection, is who must determine the capability of each facility and the conditions for continuing operation with appropriate safety guarantees and according to technical and objective criteria. Thereafter, it corresponds to the Ministry designated to grant the corresponding authorization, taking into account the conditions established by the CSN and responding to energy planning considerations, and this is where we must demand a halt to ideological speculation about the future of these facilities.

In a year in which we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of electrical energy generation with nuclear power plants in Spain, during which a leading and exporting industry has been built which provides employs many highly qualified professionals; we believe that the important decisions that affect this sector must be made based on rigorous analysis, without haste and duly weighing all aspects associated with possible energy transition scenarios.

From the Spanish Nuclear Society, we demand recognition of the role played by nuclear energy in the achievement of objectives to move in an efficient, orderly, and reliable manner towards a decarbonized and mostly renewable model without demagogy and taking into account the service that this energy source is providing to the developing of our country.

INTRODUCTION
LONG-TERM OPERATION

Spanish nuclear power plants will face in the following years the operation license renewal process. In some cases this means that the plant will exceed the 40 years in operation. The nuclear power plants were initially designed with this time barrier in the horizon, but over the years important safety improvements were implemented in the nuclear plants, design modifications were performed and large investments in equipment and systems were made and all together has provided robustness and reliability to the nuclear plants. All of these reasons makes possible that the plants are ready to operate beyond 40 years.

Long-Term Operation of Spanish nuclear power plants offers positive aspects to take into account when evaluating the situation as a whole. In the article of FORO NUCLEAR it is highlighted the relevant role of nuclear energy in the next energy transition, because as a CO2 non-emission power generation source it would contributes to comply the emissions objectives that Spain agreed in the COP21 in Paris. FORATOM, on the other hand, agrees with the nuclear power relevance in the mid-term in order to comply the climate agreements, and in addition, explains the situation of the European nuclear power reactor with respect to going beyond 40 years of operation.

From a technical point of view, EPRI contributes with the vision of the aging management programs in nuclear power plants currently in operation. This article discusses EPRI’s research in four major areas and the importance of these programs in the long-term operation.

At last but not the least, IAEA and CSN (Spanish nuclear safety regulator) explain their programs to deal with the long-term operation in current nuclear power plants. IAEA mentions those activities under way to support LTO and the documents and guides developed for this purpose.In addition, the article includes an explanation of SALTO peer review service. CSN explains in its article the aging management requirements and the aspects related to LTO license, according to the guide SSG-25 from IAEA and the Safety Guide GS-1.10 revision 2 from CSN.

INTERVIEW

Xavier COLL


WESTINGHOUSE MANAGING DIRECTOR AND VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN EUROPE - EMEA REGION

Xavier Coll Sugrañes is a Young professional with a long career, who taker on the greatest responsibility for the Southern European region of Westinghouse at a time of major transition.

With him we review the current situation of the company and the sector in Spain and the world, recognizing the achievements and looking to the future from the reality and the same time from a mature optimism.

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PANORAMA ENERGÉTICO Y ENERGÍA NUCLEAR A OCTUBRE DE 2017
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NUCLEAR REACTORS 2017

 


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GDES FRANCE IS AWARDED ITS FIRST DECOMMISSIONING CONTRACT

GDES France has been awarded a contract for electromechanical decommissioning of hot cell facility (Cellule MEC) at the Bugey 1 Nuclear Power Plant. The contract, awarded by EDF, was secured through a joint venture with D&S. The project was launched on 29 June and the dismantling operations are scheduled to run from the last quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.

It is GDES’ first dismantling contract in France. The operation consists of the electromechanical decommissioning of a hot cell similar to the cell that GDES dismantled at the Vandellós 1 Nuclear Power Plant (1999-2002, Spain).

The decommissioning of Vandellós 1 set an international benchmark: it was the first decommissioning of a Spanish nuclear power plant and one of the first in Europe.

GDES’ bid was bolstered by more than 40 years’ experience in the nuclear industry. GDES not only participated in the construction of the major Spanish nuclear power plants at the end of the 1970s, but also in their maintenance and now in their decommissioning. It is in this field, decommissioning, that GDES is a European leader: it is involved in various projects, not only in Spain but also in Italy, the United Kingdom and now, France. GDES currently provides mechanical and chemical cleaning services for the moisture separator reheaters (MSRs) at the Bugey Nuclear Power Plant. The Bugey NPP has 4 operational units and one decommissioned unit (Bugey 1). Unit 1 (INB45) is a UNGG (Uranium Naturel Graphite Gaz) reactor. Built between 1965 and 1971, in the definitive shutdown situation since 1994.

The electromechanical decommissioning project includes the removal of all the unit equipment – remote manipulator arms, lifting units, aspirators, reinforced door, etc. – and the equipment located in the adjoining parts: electrical panel, control command, pilot station, etc.

WNE REAFFIRMS ITS INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION FOR THE 2018 EDITION

Under the theme of “Nuclear Excellence, a New Era”, the WNE show closed its doors in Villepinte on 28 June 2018.

This third edition was marked by two key features: an increased international presence and a business climate which fostered numerous agreements and partnerships.

Over three editions WNE has emerged as the major event for the world’s nuclear community, bringing together show, business opportunities and innovation promotion via the WNE Awards, round tables, the Start-Up Planet, guided tours, lunchtime debate and business meetings.

680 exhibitors, 40% from outside France, were given the opportunity to meet 9,119 visitors (21,407 participants), from 62 countries, with this edition recording a significant increase in international visitor numbers, up by 20%.

”Business First”, WNE kept its promise to bring together stakeholders from the worldwide community as evidenced by the number of partnership/cooperation agreements signed and important announcements made, such as the creation of GIFEN (Group of French Nuclear Energy Industries), which also marked this edition.

“The feedback from the nuclear community is unanimous; all welcomed the new venue, the auditorium format of the Exhibitor Workshops, the ability to interact with panellists, the “turnkey” guided tours, the lunchtime debate, and especially the networking and constantly changing business. And business is the DNA of WNE. International business, business through partnership, business through innovation”, declared Gérard Kottmann, the President of WNE and of AIFEN.

WORLD NUCLEAR EXHIBITION IN PARIS

At the third edition of the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE), the largest event in the nuclear energy industry in the world, Newtesol was awarded the prize for Operational Excellence, in the category of small to medium sized enterprises.

Nearly 150 innovative projects competed in four different categories: innovation, operational excellence, nuclear safety, and skills and knowledge management.

During the WNE awards ceremony, a panel of internationally renowned experts and under the presidency of Maria Jorsnick, the head of the Nuclear Energy Institute, awarded Newtesol the prize for Operational Excellence for its advances with the automated recharge processes related to weld overlay cladding with a high deposition rate and minimal dilution. This allows near “zero defects” and extraordinary productivity. In the words used to announce the winner, “they’ve been pushing the recharge welding technology to extremes.”

It’s the first time that Newtesol participates in the biannual event with its own exhibition, as it previously had done so as part of the Cluster Nuclear of Cantabria (CINC), to which they also belong. Newtesol (a company based in Gajano, in the Santander Bay) is a welding company that has developed their very own automated welding systems to fulfill the needs and demands of the petrochemical and nuclear industries.

The prize is a real source of pride for the firm that’s positioning itself in Europe as the point of reference in the industry.

IMPORTANTE: Se recuerda a los autores de los artículos publicados en NUCLEAR ESPAÑA que, a final de año, se fallará el Premio al Mejor Artículo que será entregado en la Jornada de Experiencias Operativas de 2019.
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