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Spanish regulator approves post-Fukushima measures

Spanish nuclear regulators have approved new post-Fukushima design modifications at the country's nuclear power plants, including final approvals for emergency management centres.

The plenary of the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN) approved design modifications for the commissioning of alternative emergency management centres (centros alternativos de gestión de emergencias, or CAGE) at the Vandellós 2 and Ascó 1 and 2 nuclear power plants; modifications to Vandellós 2's filtered venting system; and associated revisions to internal emergency plans and physical protection plans.

Earlier this month the CSN's plenary approved modifications for the Almaraz, Trillo and Cofrentes nuclear plants. With the latest approvals, all Spanish nuclear power plants currently in operation will have CAGE centres by 30 November, CSN said.

Under requirements established by the CSN in 2012 in relation to safety improvements following the Fukushima accident, Spain's nuclear plants must install new systems for filtered venting of containment, to enable the controlled depressurisation of the containment building in the event of a severe accident and reducing the amount of radioactive material that could be released. Plants have until the end of 2017 to implement and commission such a system.

CSN's plenary also 'reported favourably' on the improvement criticality control management at the Juzbado fuel manufacturing plant in Salamanca, a revision of the technical specifications for fire protection in emergency diesel generators at the Trillo nulear power plant, and a design modification of the Almaraz nuclear power plant to enable improved sampling of the atmosphere inside the containment during a severe accident.

During the same session, the CSN also approved the replacement of the existing analogue control system at Vandellós 2 with a new digital control system.

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