ENRESA: Villar de Cañas is totally suitable for building on it the ATC
The location of the town of Villar de Cañas (Cuenca) is totally suitable for building on it the Temporary Nuclear Storage Site (Almacén Temporal Centralizado or ATC) and its ancillary facilities. Thus was confirmed by the results of the studies carried out about the terrain, thanks to which it is available complete and detailed information thereof, which will make possible to install the nuclear facility on the most adequate geological place within the selected area.
At the northwestern part of the land on which the facility will be built, a compact lutite (mudstone) layer, between 20 and 40 meters deep, provides the suitable capacity for locating the nuclear facility. The fact of having a bigger surface than the minimum required makes possible to distribute the different facilities on those areas which enjoy a total safety.
The ATC will be a nuclear facility, whose building and later operation requires a complex authorizations process, among which stands out the following; the prior, the building, and the operating authorizations. All these authorizations must have the positive assessment of the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN or Spanish Nuclear Safety Board), the body in charge of nuclear safety and which is independent of the Administration. Besides, for the prior authorization it is required to have a favorable environmental impact assessment.
In support of the request for the prior authorization and for the building authorization it is required to submit, respectively, and among other documents, a “Detailed Study of the Location”, and a “Preliminary Safety Study”, which include the concrete data about the location and their potential influence on the safety of the envisaged facility. These official license documents are being drafted, with the goal of submitting the authorization request by the end of this year.
For drafting all these official documents have been contracted – following the Ley de Contratos del Sector Público (Public Sector Procurement Law), which ENRESA applies, a number of detailed studies on different issues, such as geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, meteorology, seismology and seismic risk, geography, ecology, etc. The scope of all these studies has been set in accordance with the CSN’s instructions in the favorable assessment of the ATC’s generic design, which was approved in 2006, and meeting the Spanish and US norms for these type of facilities.
The results of the soil characterization studies will be included as part of the above mentioned official documents, taking into account the totality of the reports of the studies made, for a correct and complete construction thereof. In these soil characterization studies took part more than 15 very reputed specialized companies and entities, whose studies were reviewed and incorporated by a multidisciplinary team from ENRESA, which was coordinated by a Geologist and in which took part Chemists, Physicists and Engineers.
All these data about the soil characterization of the location will be used as the basis of the preliminary safety study and for the detailed parameters of the nuclear facility. ENRESA will continue working on the soil characterization of the location with detailed studies, which will be supplemented during the licensing and construction stages, for the geologic and geotechnical follow-up of the excavations, and during the operating, for the surveillance plan.
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