Nuclear cemetery designation mired with controversy, but radioactive waste management unavoidable
There has been discussion among the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) to approve construction of Spain's Temporary Centralised Storage Facility, more commonly referred to as the ATC (Almacén Temporal Centralizado), and a decision is expected in the coming days. The Spanish Government designated Villar de Cañas in Castilla-La Mancha's Cuenca Province as the location for the ATC at the end of 2011 to temporarily store 6,700 tU of radioactive waste accumulated in the country, including high-activity radioactive materials that could not previously be stored in any facility within Spain's borders. At present, nuclear reactors – including three active in Catalonia – must manage high-level waste on-site, either in light water pools or in dry storage casks until it can be shipped to a completed ATC. While Catalonia's nuclear power plants are licensed far into the 2020s, environmental concerns over the safety of radioactive waste hang over nuclear energy's future.