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Spain’s new HLW. Location: Villar de Cañas (Cuenca)

Spain´s new HLW will be built using the patron of a HLW already built: Habog (Holland)

HLW located in Holland (HABOG: Hoogradioactief Afval Behandeling- en Opslag Gebouw)

High-level radioactive waste

High-level radioactive waste consists of nuclear fuel elements that have been used in research reactors, waste from the production of nuclear medical isotopes and reprocessing waste from nuclear power reactors. In Spain this concerns the research reactors  and the nuclear power reactors . The spent nuclear fuel elements from Vandellos I (currently dismantled) are reprocessed in France. Reprocessing means that useful components are separated from the waste. This waste will be then sent back to Spain and stored at Villar de Cañas’ HLW. The waste with the highest level of radioactivity is processed and packed into glass blocks. Because of the high level of activity in the glass block, heat is released, making cooling necessary. After about 100 years, the waste no longer produces heat. During reprocessing, non-heat-producing radioactive waste is generated as well, which is also returned to the HLW and stored.

Spent Fuel being stored


The high-level radioactive waste is delivered in very robust transport containers. It is removed from the containers, controlled, measured and repacked if necessary. The waste is then stored in the vaults of the high-level radioactive treatment and storage building.

Spent fuel transported from npp to HLW


Radiation is shielded by walls 1.70 metres thick. The building is designed to withstand any extreme external influences, such as:

  • hurricanes,
  • gas explosions,
  • earthquakes,
  • floods and
  • airplane crashes.

In the HLW  the waste is isolated from the environment and is kept under close monitoring and control. In this way safe storage is guaranteed.

HABOG HLW cross section

HABOG passive cooling system

Spanish HLW Buiding lay out:

HLW Lay Out ( Spanish Version )

More detailed information about the HLW distribution: http://www.enresa.es/files/multimedios/dossier_atc.pdf   (in Spanish)

Surrounding AREA

HABOG surrounding area



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