Alternative Emergency Control Centre (AECC) at Ascó, Vandellós II and Almaraz Nuclear Power Plants
After the accident occurred at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Japan, the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) defined, among others, the stress tests to be carried out on European NPPs. Based on these evaluations, the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) required each plant to construct a centre in which support to the management of an emergency event could be provided. This centre would be utilised when, according to the director of the plant, any of the facilities that usually supports the Control Room (namely the Technical Support Centre (CAT) and the Centre for Operational support (CAO)) needs to be abandoned. The new Alternative Emergency Control Centre (AECC), called CAGE in Spanish, should be implemented in each of the locations of the Spanish NPPs.
At the beginning of 2012, UNESA (Electric Industry Spanish Association) commissioned IDOM for the conceptual design of an Alternative Emergency Control Centre (AECC) building, according to the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) requirements. Based on the experience of other emergency centers constructions, as well as the accumulated knowledge from Spanish NPPs activities, IDOM produced a basic design that responds to the needs of each nuclear facility and, at the same time, minimized the implementation costs.
In the second phase of the project, IDOM participated in the development of licenses for different nuclear facilities and later, it was awarded the basic and detailed engineering, and construction works management of the AECC of Ascó, VandellósII and Almaraz NPPs.
The AECC building provides support to the control room and plant during emergency conditions whilst being able to accommodate within a confined environment 120 people in Ascó NPP and 70 people in the case of Vandellós II NPP. These buildings have an autonomy of 72 hours and were designed according to the CSN requirements. The main aspects taken account for the building design were radiological protection needs, seismic resistance, structural integrity, communication, habitability, electric energy supply and fire protection, compliance of regulations and a robust quality system.