A strategic industry for competitiveness

AFTER NEARLY FIFTY YEARS OF OPERATION, THE SPANISH NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED IN THE WORLD. NOWADAYS, ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE ELECTRICAL GRID IS STRATEGIC.

This industry creates stable employment, is committed to the quality and safety of the operation, and its activity is strictly regulated and supervised by the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), which reports to the Spanish Parliament.

There are ten nuclear facilities in Spain’s mainland, six of which are nuclear power plants (Almaraz, Ascó, Cofrentes, Garoña, Trillo and Vandellós II), with eight reactors in total. The industry deals with the entire value chain of the activity, not just the operation: from the design and construction of facilities to fuel manufacturing, operation and maintenance engineering, equipment and component supply, auxiliary industry, fuel management, facility decommissioning and radioactive waste storage.

Its competitiveness and security of supply (its rate of use is above 96%) make nuclear energy the main source of supply in Spain. Thus, with around 7% of the total installed electrical power, it covers the highest percentage of demand (20% of the total) according to data from Red Eléctrica de España (the grid operator). This market leadership also serves to moderate the price of electricity. Whilst in some fossil fuel generation systems the fuel price fluctuates between 50% and 70%, the price of the uranium used in a nuclear power plant remains stable and only represents 15% of the total costs.

INSTALLED POWER IN SPAIN
IN 2016

100.088 MW

ELECTRICITY DEMAND BY SOURCE
IN 2016

“Nuclear Power is the main source of electricity supply in Spain”

Technology against climate change

Experts demand urgent measures to slow down the effects of global warming and nuclear power, with no greenhouse emissions, is called to guarantee the supply required in the years to come to meet the increased demand from worldwide growth and development. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculates that by 2050, 80% of global power should be produced through low carbon emission technology (compared to 30% nowadays), in order to contain its effects.

According to this body, the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt-hour of nuclear power plants are two orders of magnitude lower than those of fossil fuel power generation, and are comparable to most renewable sources.