Spanish decommissioning contract for Westinghouse

29 July 2010

Westinghouse has been awarded a contract by Spain's decommissioning firm Enresa to dismantle the reactor vessel internals of the country's José Cabrera nuclear power plant, which shut down in 2006. 


The contract covers dismantling and segmentation of the reactor vessel internals, including the up-front engineering studies. It also includes plant modifications, equipment supply, and loading of primary and secondary waste, respectively, into multipurpose canisters for the activated material, and into dedicated containers for low- and intermediate-level waste.


Jose Cabrera (Enresa)
The José Cabrera plant (Image: Enresa)


Westinghouse will be the lead contractor for the project, and Monlain UTE will be its main subcontractor. The project began in June and is expected to take over two and a half years to complete. In May, Monlain UTE began the task of dismantling ten cooling towers at the site.


The 142 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) at José Cabrera in the central municipality of Guadalajara, operated from 1968 until 2006 when it was closed by ministerial order. The nearest village to the power plant is Zorita de los Canes and the plant is often known by the name Zorita.


Ownership of the site was officially transferred from Union Fenosa to Enresa in February 2010 and that company has announced plans to clear the site by 2016.


The José Cabrera plant will become the second commercial nuclear power reactor in Spain to be dismantled, after unit 1 of the Vandellós plant.


Earlier in 2010, Electricité de France (EdF) decommissioning arm EdF-CIDEN awarded a contract to a consortium led by Westinghouse to dismantle the reactor vessel of Chooz A, the first PWR to be decommissioned in France. That project is expected to take six and a half years to complete. Westinghouse is also involved in projects to dismantle reactor internals at the Forsmark plant in Sweden and the Olkiluoto plant in Finland.


Researched and written 
by World Nuclear News