The Government authorizes the start of the dismantling of the Garoña nuclear power plant

It will last until 2033 and will have a budget of 475 million.

The Government authorizes the start of the dismantling of the Garoña nuclear power plant

It will last until 2033 and will have a budget of 475 million


The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has authorized the start of the dismantling of the Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant, a process that will last until 2033 and has a budget of 475 million euros.

The Government has published the ministerial order that initiates the procedure and also authorizes the transfer of ownership of the Nuclenor facility - a company formed by Iberdrola and Endesa - to Enresa, responsible for the dismantling, which will take place in the coming days.

Specifically, the project - reported favorably in May by the Nuclear Safety Council - consists of two phases, which cover until 2033 and with that budget of 475 million euros, and provides for up to 350 people to work on it simultaneously.

The Ministry, through the Institute for Just Transition (ITJ), has been collaborating since 2020 with the 27 municipalities affected by the closure of the facility and has already allocated 7.7 million to finance 12 municipal projects.

Located in the Tobalina Valley (Burgos), Garoña had an installed capacity of 466 MW, was inaugurated in 1971 and was disconnected from the electricity grid in December 2012, when Nuclenor informed the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of its decision not to keep exploiting it.

In July 2013, the definitive cessation of exploitation was declared, but this was not due to nuclear safety or radiological protection reasons, so Nuclenor submitted a request for renewal of the authorization in May 2014. Finally, in August 2017, this request was denied by the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda.

At that time, Enresa began the preparatory work for dismantling and designing a project that consists of two phases over a decade and has a budget -without counting spent fuel management- of those 475 million.

In phase 1 (2023-2026) the systems, structures and components of the turbine building will be dismantled, and the modifications to the systems and facilities necessary for the management of the resulting waste will be undertaken. At the same time, spent fuel will be evacuated from the pool to the Individualized Temporary Storage (ATI) of the plant.

Meanwhile, in phase 2 (2027-2033), with the fuel already in the ATI, the final dismantling of the buildings of a radiological nature will be addressed, continuing with the decontamination, declassification and demolitions, to finally conclude with the restoration of the site.

In 2020, the Institute for a Just Transition began working in the 27 municipalities where an impact on employment and income has been identified after the closure of the plant, in accordance with the Urgent Action Plan of the Just Transition Strategy for the areas in which there had been closures of facilities without reactivation plans.

In May 2021, the cabinet led by Teresa Ribera, the Junta de Castilla y León; The Basque Government and the municipalities -through the FEMP and AMAC- signed the action protocol for the preparation of the Garoña Just Transition Agreement due to the closure of the plant.

The ITJ has already awarded 7.7 million euros to 12 municipal projects to reactivate the area, under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan; They are of a socio-sanitary nature, promoting tourism, real estate rehabilitation, environmental restoration, and biomass management.

A new call for projects of this type is being worked on. On the other hand, lines of aid to companies and small investment projects are being processed, which will be resolved at the end of the year, to which projects in the area have been presented.