Mission to enhance NEA engagement and co-operation with Spanish government, industry and academia

NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, and Sara Aagesen Muñoz, Spanish Secretary of State for Energy. January 2024

NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, and Sara Aagesen Muñoz, Spanish Secretary of State for Energy.

NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, was in Spain on 16-17 January 2024 for a series of meetings and discussions with government representatives, regulators, researchers, academia and industry stakeholders.

During the mission, Director-General Magwood met with Sara Aagesen Muñoz, Secretary of State for Energy, to present the latest NEA initiatives on small modular reactors (SMRs), education and training activities, as well as analysis on the gender balance in the nuclear sector.

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CSN Chairman Juan Carlos Lentijo and NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV.

A visit to the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) featured meetings with the Chairman Juan Carlos Lentijo, Secretary General Pablo Martin Gonzalez, and Commissioners Francisco Castejón Magaña, Javier Dies, Elvira Romera Gutiérrez and Pilar Lucio Carrasco. Director-General Magwood highlighted the active participation of CSN in various NEA committees and projects and discussed future co-operation in nuclear safety.

Director-General Magwood also visited the Spanish radioactive waste management agency (ENRESA) where he met with President José Luis Navarro Ribera and senior staff of the organisation. Director-General Magwood thanked the ENRESA representatives for their continuous support in the NEA’s work in radioactive waste management and decommissioning, and discussed future collaboration on graphite waste management and the safety case of deep geological repositories.

The mission to Spain included a visit to the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT), where Director-General Magwood was introduced to the centre’s flagship activities and main research facilities.

A visit to Westinghouse (former Tecnatom) provided an opportunity learn more about the Spanish nuclear industry and to see the full-scale simulator facilities used to train nuclear operators. Director-General Magwood had the chance to engage with key players in the Spanish nuclear industry and to discuss the global market opportunities of SMRs at an event facilitated by the Spanish industry association, Foro Nuclear.

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Left: Neutron irradiation facilities at CIEMAT. Right: Presentation at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM).

NEA missions to member and non-member countries provide an opportunity to engage with students who are enrolled in STEM programmes. These meetings are an occasion to shed light on career opportunities in the nuclear energy sector and to discuss topics such as energy transition and climate change, nuclear innovation and new technologies, among others. During the visit to Spain, Director-General Magwood met with the students and staff of the School of Mining and Energy Engineering (ETSIME) of the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM), and delivered a presentation entitled “The next nuclear energy era: New opportunities and old challenges”.

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