The Plenary of the Nuclear Safety Council has decided to demolish the Berkeley uranium concentrates factory project. In this way, the agency follows the Technical Opinion Proposal in which it was unfavorably reported on the company’s request for authorization for the construction of a first-class radioactive facility for the nuclear fuel cycle in the municipality of Retortillo (Salamanca).
The result of the vote was four votes in favor of the Technical Opinion Proposal prepared by the Technical Directorate for Radiological Protection and one against, corresponding to the counselor Javier Dies. Said director, in accordance with article 34 of the CSN Statute, has announced that he will cast a private vote in writing within 48 hours.
The technical opinion will be sent to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and is justified in the low reliability and high uncertainties of the safety analysis of the radioactive installation in geotechnical and hydrogeological aspects, on which the verification of the appropriate behavior of various project parameters.
The technical deficiencies detected in the evaluation refer mainly to the definitive storage of radioactive waste of very low activity, which is part of the first category radioactive facility.
From a regulatory point of view, the information provided does not allow to limit the effective isolation capacity of the barriers that BME proposes to surround the waste, and consequently neither the capacity to minimize the expected concentrations of radionuclides in the potential discharge areas.
The evaluations carried out on the documentation that accompanies the application for authorization of the installation have detected numerous deficiencies throughout the evaluation, which has required the maintenance of many technical meetings with the licensee, as well as numerous requests for additional information. the preparation of a large number of reports and evaluation notes, and the complete review of the documentation by the owner, in order to integrate and give coherence to the information generated on the project.
The evaluation of the reports of the application for construction authorization has involved 11 technical areas from both technical departments of the CSN, which have addressed the issues of their competence, which group fire protection, systems engineering, mechanical and structural engineering, quality assurance, hydrogeology, seismology and meteorology, radiological protection of workers, radiological impact assessment, environmental radiological surveillance, low and medium level waste, as well as the cycle and dismantling facilities area and the corresponding project headquarters