When nuclear power plants arrive to the end of their planned life, they enter a phase of decommissioning and dismantling with the final aim of freeing up the land at the site so that it can be recovered and reused for any use, whether that be industrial or not, without the need of nuclear regulatory control.
The Santa María de Garoña Nuclear Power Plant, a 466 MW power plant, produced electricity in Spain for more than 40 years and stopped production in December of 2012. The plant is currently being decommissioned and dismantled, and one of the first projects to be undertaken will be to execute the plan for measuring and sampling the turbine building. This is the first of the steps to undertake the plant’s preliminary radiological characterization before transferring its ownership to ENRESA, the public agency tasked with dismantling nuclear power plants in Spain.
Tecnatom will coordinate this important project and, thus, has decided to join forces with other companies with extensive experience in the Spanish nuclear sector like Geocisa, Medidas Ambientales, and Proinsa. The synergies between the four companies will help to strengthen the vast collective experience they have in the field of radiological characterization and in the planning and execution of nuclear power plant decommissioning and dismantling.
This project will require a great ability to coordinate and plan, as well as thorough knowledge of the plant and its applicable procedures. The undertaking of more than 1,200 on-site activities is planned, as well as the corresponding analyses: dose rate measurements, surface contamination measurements, on-site gamma spectrometry, collection of swab samples, blank samples, scarification samples, and laboratory measurements – including gamma spectrometry measurements, alpha and beta indexes, complex spectrometry (pure alpha and beta emissions), as well as the associated quality controls.