Citing "Social Decision," Spain To Phase Out Nuclear

The Spanish government is closing in on a policy that would phase out nuclear power by not granting license extensions beyond the original 40-year commitment, as the country focuses on a strict diet of renewable power sources.

Almaraz 1 NPPThe announcement was made by State Secretary of Energy Jose Dominquez, media sources said.

Dominquez called the new draft law a “social decision.”

The new policy would aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by 2050, while phasing out nuclear power, which generated 20 percent of the country’s electricity in 2016, compared with 23 percent for renewable power sources.

The oldest nuclear power plant in the country, Almaraz Unit 1, has been operating for 37. It is very likely the first nuclear plant the country will close down to comply with the new policy, even though the draft law does not specifically mention nuclear power.

The draft law does mention fossil fuels. There are 14 coal-fired power plants in Spain and nine of those will be closed by June 2020, the remaining five to be shuttered by 2030. Spain will also not issue permits for any new fossil power plants, ban hydro-fracking and stop issuing permits for oil and gas exploration, according to various sources.

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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Good luck. Where have we seen that before, Germany? And they have seen the limits on the penetration of renewables on the grid.

  • This decision has been revised several times now as I recall.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Stupid decision.  Look at Germany  --  they have to burn more lignite (brown coal), very dirty and they even need to destroy a town to get the lignite underneath.  Instead of killing off pressurized water reactors (the standard design) they should be building molten salt, liquid fuel reactors burning thorium or uranium from depleted fuel rods.   At some point in the future it will be realized that we either go nuclear or we go extinct.  But by then it will likely be too late.  

    Rich Clark  -=-  Berkeley, California  -=-  rrich.clark@gmail.com

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Watch what happens when U.S. bans hydro-fracking

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I guess they will be buying power from Abu Dhabi.  That should be cheap!!! Perhaps the residents of Spain don't mind rolling brown-outs.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Get your oil lamps ready for the rolling black outs.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    While Spain is one of the most likely candidates for solar power, solar can't match the reliability and carbon footprint of nuclear power.  Germany is learning this the hard way!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Need to ban cellphones, computers, electric cars and all other energy using items for demand side.  Sounds like a well thought out plan.