The spanish nuclear sector: A national and international benchmark.


- Ignacio ARALUCE, President of the Spanish Nuclear Industry Forum.

- Environmental qualification of the ITER Safety Control System – Nuclear (SCS-N) Ricardo Pindado & Luis Cerrada
- WESTINGHOUSE Electric Spain Engineering support for New Builds Alberto Martínez Masedo & Francisco P. Quintero Castro
- TECNATOM International Training Center (ITC) José Carlos Limon de Oliveira
- Predictive Acid Chemical Cleaning Operation (PACCO©) an innovative method to remove iron oxide deposits in the secondary side of Steam Generators (SG) José Tomás Ruiz Martínez
- Introduction of Spanish irradiated fuel inspection technologies in China Emilio Bobo Pérez & Manuel Fernández Ordóñez
- ENUSA serving the European BWR market Juan José Serna & Leah Crider
- Excellence and innovation in the nuclear industry Lucía L. Cano Sanz
- Recent experiences of international services performed by AREVA NP Spain José Miguel Izquierdo Labella & Raquel Ochoa Valero
- SNGC Evolution for a Nuclear Changing World Eduardo Aymerich

- Amparo GONZÁLEZ ESPARTERO, Technical Lead of Spent Fuel Management in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section of the Department of Nuclear Energy (IAEA).



The nuclear industry is characterized as being a very technical sector, with highly-qualified professionals with great technical knowledge, in which Spain still has a prominent position. In our country, the nuclear sector creates about 30,000 job positions, of which more than half are held by people with university degrees and that feature an intensive, continual training program that makes them highly desired in the national and international market.

In fact, the internationalization of the nuclear sector is currently an important source of contract entry for Spanish companies that devote a high percentage of their activity, more than 80%, to export of both materials, such as capital goods, and services.

As the Spanish Nuclear Society, it is up to us to claim due recognition for these high level companies and professionals who work in a sector that is not free from controversies and debates based on ideological positions.

The start-up of the Spanish nuclear power plants involved great effort in technology assimilation and the training of technicians and specialists, which resulted in a high quality professional sector, very qualified operations teams, and very high numbers for national participation in the construction of nuclear plants, going from 40% to 80% national participation in construction projects and commissioning of facilities. In addition to the industry and the technicians in charge of the day to day operations of these facilities, the development of nuclear energy in Spain has also given rise to an important technical and scientific community, found in public organizations, research centers, universities, the plants themselves in operation, and the industry in general.

With more than 40 years of learning and experience, high professional qualification, consolidated business strength, and a developed scientific and teaching community, the nuclear sector is qualified to supply equipment, nuclear fuel, engineering services, construction, installation, support for plant operations, support for refueling, service inspection techniques, training, radiation protection, and decommissioning of nuclear and radioactive facilities.

The Spanish nuclear sector has been able to evolve, incorporating new technologies adapted to the needs and current requirements, and making it possible for Spanish companies to have a presence in nuclear projects in more than forty countries, to participate in international research and development projects for advanced nuclear plants, in programs based on nuclear fusion, as well as the ITER project, and programs based on high energy physics.

The value of such a highly qualified professional sector and an industry positioned in the international market must be recognized as such. There are many companies who have developed their activity completely or partially in the nuclear sector that have been able to take advantage of the experience and knowledge acquired from the operations of Spanish nuclear plants to now form a part of other projects around the world. Spain has reached a professional status in research in the nuclear sector and has continued to develop R&D&I programs, to which the dedicate about 2% of total revenues annually, which is more than double of what is allocated for this purpose in Spain, which ends up being about 70 million euros annually, a figure higher than sectors such as textiles, shipbuilding, and metalworking. It also highlights the active collaboration with international organizations such as the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) from the United States, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) from the OECD, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the United Nations.

A powerful, mature economic sector which dedicates resources to research and the development of its professionals, where strategic values are held, such as safety and guaranteed supply. For the Spanish Nuclear Society, it is an honor to have almost one thousand highly qualified members who represent a first rate sector. We believe that nuclear energy should form part of the energy model for the future that will emerge from the debate on energy transition because of the benefits that it provides: it can combat climate change, the safety of the facilities, it has very high reliability, its technological capacity to operate in the long term, the security of fuel supply, its contribution to the control of energy prices, it is an economic driver, and its development of the national industry which provides a high index of high-skilled employment. It would be an irreparable political mistake to waste these capabilities of the Spanish nuclear sector.



Latest figures show that 80% of Spanish Nuclear Industry sector activities are focused internationally. That international vision and the effort provided by our professionals have resulted into a wide portfolio of nuclear capabilities and a very qualified personnel available to support any field activity engineering design or material supply resulting in an sales of 240 € Million over the world (Ref. Foro Nuclear).

International vendor arrived to Spain during the construction era (1960-1988). After that period they were very well stablished and started to support domestic and international projects from Spain. In this sense, nowadays, the local branches are supporting new builds engineering around the world, on site activities like plugging or Steam Generator activities in PWR reactors or Fuel supply with local manufacturing.

Moreover, during that construction era, Spanish government pushed for getting some manufacturing capabilities and thanks to that, there is couple of very well-recognized companies delivering fuel assemblies and fuel related services in Europe; and heavy components to Asia, Europe and America.

On the other hand, Spanish operational instructors are widely recognized around the world. The Spanish industry already provides training in a great number of countries and due to its high degree of know-how is also entering into new international markets such as the USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, China and United Arab Emirates.

Thanks to their high technical qualification, know-how and good practices, Spanish companies are capable to provide high value-added services in the international market. In fact, they are currently carrying out international work related to environmental qualification, chemical cleaning of critical equipment and inspection of fuel.

In general, this special number shows some of the international projects around the world, how acquired experience during the construction era and daily operation has resulted in a robust exporting sector, which has contributed to maintained thousands of jobs during one of the worse crisis in Spain.




Last March Ignacio Araluce was named president of the Spanish Nuclear Industry Forum, the business association that represents all electrical production from nuclear origin and 85% of the major companies in the sector at the national level.
The organization brings together more than 55 companies which carry out commercial activity in 40 countries worldwide and that employ more than 27,500 people directly or indirectly. Araluce acknowledges that it is an honor to represent the Spanish companies from the nuclear sector through an organization that will celebrate the 55th anniversary of its establishment this year.






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