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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Nuclear Reactor at Spanish Power Plant Suffers Unexpected Shutdown

PLASENCIA, Spain – A reactor at a Spanish nuclear power station suffered an unexpected shutdown on Monday, according to the country’s nuclear security council (CSN).

The CSN said it had received a notification from the Almaraz nuclear plant – located in the central province of Caceres and 200 kilometers (124 miles) to the southwest of Madrid – informing of a shutdown in one of its reactors.

The plant said that at 9:57 local time (0757 GMT), Unit 1 suffered an unprogrammed disruption when the pump that supplied its refrigeration system stopped working due to a power outage.

According to the plant, the unit was later restored and returned to a stable condition, “with all controls and safety protocols having functioned correctly.”

The station’s staff were investigating the cause of the anomaly – as well as conducting multiple relevant tests – before reconnecting the reactor to the power grid.

The incident had no impact on personnel, the wider public or the environment, the CSN said.

It was classified as a level 0 event on the International Nuclear Events Scale.

The Almaraz nuclear power plant, located on a section of the Tagus River that flows through the western region of Extremadura, sits around 115 kilometers (71 miles) upstream from the Portuguese border.

The plant has been the subject of a dispute with Portugal over the construction of a nuclear waste storage site that has required mediation by the European Commission.

The Tagus flows west into the Atlantic by the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Spain planned to build the waste storage facility at Almaraz, which uses the river to cool its reactors, but Portugal objected and took the matter to the European Union.

Construction of the storage site has been postponed.

 

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