Demolition of the iconic dome of the José Cabrera power plant begins

The José Cabrera nuclear power plant, better known as “Zorita” will enter the final stage of decommissioning once radiological dismantling and building decontamination have been completed.

The project includes conventional demolitions of the facility’s structures and buildings (including the reactor building) with heavy machinery, the extraction of specific embedded elements (radiologically contaminated pipes and/or points), cutting with diamond wire, characterisation and classification of waste for processing. As part of the work in this last phase, the dismantling of the iconic dome of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant is now commencing, which will radically change the external appearance of the plant.

The project to demolish the reactor building and storage facility 1 of the José Cabrera nuclear power plant, in which GDES is participating in support of the UTE MONLAINRE (temporary joint arrangement that awarded this contract), will take 18 months and is the second biggest contract, in financial terms, since decommissioning of the plant began in 2010, with an estimated value of 10 million euros.

José Cabrera nuclear power plant was the first to be built in Spain. Construction began in July 1965 and lasted three years. Commercial operation of the plant began in August 1969 and ceased in May 2006, after 38 years of operation, producing 35.53 billion KWh and preventing the emission of more than 32 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

In 2012, the decommissioning of the plant arrived at one of the most crucial moments of the entire project: the opening of the reactor vessel lid and the segmentation of its internal components. It was the first time that a decommissioning task of this nature had been undertaken in Spain. With the participation of UTE Monlain (a temporary joint arrangement between GDES and Moncobra), providing support to Westinghouse, the project was a success, as recognised by Enresa, the owner of the power plant. In 2018, dismantling of the plant’s ventilation stack was completed and, according to Enresa, the plant’s owner since 2010, 86% of the decommissioning project had been executed.