Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nuclear waste in Spain

 Something as tiny as the Atom comes from nuclear energy, which arises after a series of chemical reactions.

But in addition to this energy, radioactivity , which makes exposed substances are contaminated follows. Hence the need to manage radioactive waste with an extreme control of them.

So it is important that they are stored in containers that can not be transferred, such as concrete barriers, and know exactly How long they take to stop broadcasting radiation.

One of the examples of storage of waste in Spain is found in the Cabril, municipal and Hornachuelos in Cordoba, built by ENRESA on the basis of an old uranium mine. Up the Cabril arrive waste through a means of ground transportation and are always stored in solid state, making a mixture of concrete with the contaminated material to be introduced later in drums which then go on to a container that will be in turn sealed with cement.

These containers make up the platforms which are also sealed with a mobile roof, to finally rest under a series of physical barriers. There report will be based for three centuries under surveillance, moment in which would have already no radioactivity whatsoever. Despite all these measures of security, from Greenpeace they warn us that the area of Hornachuelos is an geographically fragmented area, which poses a risk for this type of storage.

Most of the radioactive waste generated in Spain are low and average activity and come from hospitals, industry, research centres and of course own nuclear power plants. But we also waste of high activity are accumulated in pools of own power plants, which are stored in containers to 12 meters of depth for 3 years, after which it can reprocess.

The problem of these pools is when they reach their maximum of storage. This is the reason why the company ENRESA wants to build Temporary centralized warehouses (ATC), something which Greenpeace seems unacceptable, the more acceptable option for them would be the build Stores temporary individualized (ATI) whose cost is much better and whose construction in Spain would be necessary only in plants of Garoña (Burgos), Cofrentes (Valencia), Almaraz (Badajoz) and Vandellós (Tarragona), because the rest of Spanish nuclear power plants, already exists.

The place chosen by ENRESA to create its ATC in Spain is the Cuenca municio of Villar de Cañas, in which waste will be stored for 60 years. This municipality has 442 and is located 75 kilometres southwest of Cuenca.