St. Maria de Garona (Spain)

Map of St. Maria de Garona

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440 MW BWR constructed by General Electric; grid connection in 1971.

Facilities in St. Maria de Garona

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
St.Maria de GaronaBWR196619712013

Santa Maria de Garona closed

"The 42-year-old Santa Maria de Garoña nuclear power plant in the north-central province of Burgos, one of the eight nuclear reactors operating in Spain, has been shut down.

The power plant, which was closed Saturday under an order issued by the Industry and Energy Ministry, continues to be the target of criticism from the opposition and non-governmental organizations, such as Greenpeace.

The nuclear energy facility was closed down for economic and not safety reasons, and the government has not ruled out reactivating the power plant "if it is possible," Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said on Friday.

The government does not plan to change the regulations covering the nuclear power industry, Saenz de Santamaria said.

The shutdown was undertaken "even though there are no nuclear safety or radiological protection reasons that require it," and because the company that owns the facility cited economic reasons "for not requesting the renewal of the operating license," the Industry and Energy Ministry order said.

Nuclenor, which is owned by Endesa and Iberdrola, operates the power plant and is resonsible for storing the uranium fuel used at the plant.

The Spanish Socialist Workers Party, or PSOE, the country's largest opposition party, criticized the conservative Popular Party, or PP, government for holding out the possibility of reopening the plant.

Greenpeace, for its part, said the possibility of modifying regulations to reopen the Santa Maria de Garoña plant "is criminal." EFE"



2012: Santa Maria de Garoña life time extension

"Spain's nuclear regulator, the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN), has reported to the Spanish government that there is no impediment from the point of view of nuclear safety or radiation protection to the operation of the Santa Maria de Garoña reactor beyond 2013.

The Spanish government approved only a four-year extension when the licence for Nuclenor's 446 MWe boiling water reactor when its licence last came up for renewal in 2009, even though the CSN had already ruled that the plant could operate safely until at least 2019. However, a cabinet decision last month by the recently elected conservative government overturned the decree that would have forced the plant to close in 2013.

The government then asked the CSN to review the situation, as well as considering any technical improvements that might be required for the plant to operate beyond 2013. The CSN has now made its report back to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the government office with responsibility for final decisions on nuclear plant operations in Spain.

When it ruled in 2009 that Garoña would be safe to operate to 2019, the CSN identified a number of improvements to be made at the plant over the next four years. In its new report, the CSN again emphasises that various nuclear safety and radiation protection conditions must be met for the plant to be allowed to operate to 2019. The plant's operators are required to satisfy the regulator that monitoring, inspection, maintenance and management activities carried out at the plant since July 2009 are consistent with those established for the renewal of the operating permit until 2019. This must be completed by July 2012."



Extension of the operating license for 4 years. The owner has invested 200 million US$ in improvements & upgrades during the past few years. Among these measures were replacement of turbine rotors & control rods. Inspection of the core shroud revealed a small defect in a weld which is not considered as a safety problem.


Plant was automatically shutdown as a result of a heavy storm. Before startup technical inspection of the 23 year old plant is planned - Garone experienced problems with cracks in the penetration tubes of the reactor shell, which have been sealed mechanically, - a method which is suspected to be inadequate.