The first Spanish commercial nuclear power plant began operating in 1968. Currently, Spain has eight reactors consisting of six PWRs and two BWRs operating on six sites: Santa Maria de Garona and Cofrentes (each have one BWR), Almaraz and Asco (each have two PWRs), and Vandellos and Trillo (each have one PWR). Together, these reactors generate about one fifth of Spain’s electricity.
Spain also has a nuclear fuel manufacturing facility and radioactive waste disposal facility.
Despite the importance of nuclear power, a moratorium was enacted in 1983 and since then no new nuclear power plants have been built.
The responsibility for nuclear power is with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the regulation of energy systems is with the National Energy Commision/Comisón Nacional de Energía. In the nuclear field, the regulatory body is the Nuclear Safety Council/Consejo Seguridad Nuclear (CSN), whih has the responsibility of ensuring the safe operation of nuclear and radioactive facilities. The National Enterprise for Radioactive Waste/Empresa Nacional de Residuos Radioactivos (ENRESA) has the responsibility for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and the management of radioactive waste.
NUCLEAR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
No higher level educational institution in the country offers a Bachelor’s degree in the nuclear field, but there are a number of institutions that offer a Master’s degree: the Independent University of Madrid/Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in collaboration with the Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology/Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas Medio Ambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT) offers a degree in Nuclear Engineering and Applications, the Carlos III University of Madrid/Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Complutense University of Madrid/Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and the Polytechnic University of Madrid/Universidad Politécnica de Madrid are partners in the European Master’s degree in Nuclear Fusion Science and Engineering Physics (Erasmus Mundus), the Polytechnic University of Madrid/Universidad Politécnica de Madrid offers a degree in Nuclear Science and Technology and, in collaboration with Tecnatom, a degree in Technologies of Electrical Energy Generation with a Specialization Course in Technologies of Nuclear Generation, the University of Huelva/Universidad de Huelva offers a degree in Nuclear Technology and Instrumentation, and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia/Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña offers a degree in Synchroton Radiation and Particle Accelerators and an Inter-university Master’s degree in Energy Engineering with a Nuclear Specialization.
Regarding the Doctorate Degrees, there are possibilities at: the Carlos III University of Madrid/Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (PhD in Plasma Physics and Nuclear Fusion), the Polytechnical University of Catalunya/Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (PhD in Nuclear and Ionizing Radiations Engineering), the University of Castilla La Mancha/Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (PhD in Lasers and Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry, and the Polytechnic University of Madrid/Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (PhD in Science and Nuclear Technology and a PhD in the Fusion Nuclear Institute).
The main nuclear training provider is Tecnatom. The Nuclear Forum/Foro Nuclear in its Training Department provides training for teachers and media professionals.
Several associations are working to improve the education in the nuclear field: the Nuclear Forum/Foro Nuclear, Sociedad Nuclear Española, Plataforma Tecnológica de Energía Nuclear de Fisión (CEIDEN) , the Spanish Society for Nuclear Medicine/Sociedad Española De Medicina Nuclear, and Asociación Española de la Industria Eléctrica (UNESA) which had been established as a negotiation forum between all the participants in the nuclear activities.