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Waste

The waste generated by IBERDROLA can be divided into two groups: waste originating in the generation process and waste originating in facilities and offices which is not linked directly to the electricity production process and is generated in maintenance, operation, management and other activities.

Waste Management

The waste generated by the Company at the different activities of construction, operation and maintenance of facilities and offices are properly management in according to the type of waste.

The chart below shows the source of the Company's waste production:

The attached chart shows the source of the Company's waste production.

The waste generated can be divided into two groups: waste originating in the generation process and waste originating in facilities and offices which is not linked directly to the electricity production process and is generated in maintenance, operation, management and other activities.

Fly ash and slag in the thermal power plant generation process are the most typical types of waste, together with nuclear waste. Approximately 90% of fly ash is reused to produce cement and as filling in infrastructure work; boiler slag is managed for disposal.

The nuclear waste produced is known as conditioned intermediate- and low-level radioactive waste, i.e., ready for storage at the El Cabril warehouse. The IBERDROLA nuclear power plants are included in the Environmental Radiological Monitoring Programme of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council, which involves taking samples of air, water, soil, etc. on a regular basis in order to ensure that all the parameters are within the established limitsNote (1).

In connection with the hazardous waste generated in maintenance, operation, management and other activities, the various areas in the Company carry out actions aimed at minimising and improving management of this type of waste under the certified environmental management systems. This waste is delivered periodically to authorised managers for proper treatment.

Finally, as regards non-hazardous waste, the Company draws up minimisation and recycling plans, in addition to conducting awareness campaigns that result in the adoption of best environmental practices by the employees.

Production Process Waste

Fly ash and slag in the thermal power plant generation process are the most typical types of waste. 944,244 tonnes of fly ash were produced in 2012, 355,099 tonnes in Spain and 589,145 tonnes in the United Kingdom; of the total, 25.7% was reused to produce cement and as filling in infrastructure work. 136,223 tonnes of boiler slag and non-fly ash were also produced, which were managed for disposal; 18,1% was reused and the rest was sent to landfills. 

The trend of the production and reuse of these ashes (in coal-fired power plants) in Spain and the United Kingdom is shown below:

EVOLUTION OF PRODUCTION/REUSE OF ASH GENERATED IN IBERDROLA THERMAL POWER PLANTS IN SPAIN AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
YEAR ASH PRODUCED ASH REUSED % REUSED
2012 944.244 243.029 26
2011 723.176 248.105 34
2010 667.631 217.405 33

 

Nuclear waste

258.98 m3 of radioactive waste was produced in the low-level / low-activity category at the Cofrentes plant in Spain during 2012.

In that year, the Cofrentes plant produced a total of 161.94 m3 of conditioned intermediate- and low-level radioactive waste and sent 216.5 m3 to the temporary storage facility of El Cabril for deposit.  The rest of the nuclear power plants in which IBERDROLA holds an interest produced 173.24 m3 of conditioned intermediate- and low-level radioactive waste (a figure corresponding to the attributable percentage), and 139.54 m3 were sent to El Cabril. 

The high-level waste that is produced are the fuel assemblies replaced at the nuclear reactor that are stored as spent assemblies within the pools of the nuclear reactors. At the Cofrentes plant, no elements were replaced, with a resulting total of 3,724 fuel assemblies stored in the pool. At the other plants in which an interest is held, 4,921 assemblies were replaced, 1,985 of which are attributable to IBERDROLA. There is a total amount of 3,616 assemblies attributable to the Company.

IBERDROLA nuclear power plants are included in the Environmental Radiological Monitoring Programme of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council, which involves taking samples of air, water, soil, etc. on a regular basis in order to ensure that all the parameters are within the established limitsNote (2)

More information 

Other waste

Hazardous waste 

The Group’s various areas carry out activities designed to minimize and improve the management of the hazardous waste that is produced (PCB-contaminated equipment and oil, lubricants, resins, emulsions, etc.), and are included within the certified environmental management systems.  The waste is periodically delivered to authorized handlers for proper processing, although there are temporary warehouses for hazardous waste at the facilities and thus not all waste generated is immediately deposited or recycled. The hazardous wastes are shown below:

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION   PRODUCED (TOTAL) 2012  PRODUCED 2011  PRODUCED 2010Note (3)
SPAIN  12,188 11,694  9,656
UNITED KINGDOMNote (4)  10,854  2,230  2,922
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  820  611  493
 MEXICO  116  78  112
 BRAZILNote (5)  22,703  412  123
 REST OF THE WORLD  29  46  20
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  46,709  13.172  13,326

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION  DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2012
 DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2011
SPAIN  5,861  5,323
UNITED KINGDOMNote (4)  6,209  686
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  565  419
 MEXICO  116  78
 BRAZILNote (5)  56  57
 REST OF THE WORLD  47  13
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  12,853  6,577

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION  RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2012 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2011
SPAIN  6,327  6,371
UNITED KINGDOMNote (4)  4,644  1,647
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  519  375
 MEXICO  0  0
 BRAZILNote (5)  66  216
 REST OF THE WORLD  27  30
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  11,583  8,638

 

The large increase shown this year is mainly due to Brazil, where the regeneration of batteries was carried out at the plants of Energyworks in Balsa Nova and at Mogi Guaçu, a process that involves high consumption of acid and alkaline solutions.

There was also an increase in hazardous waste in the United Kingdom due to the elimination of asphalt.

Non hazardous waste

For non-hazardous waste, the Company maintains minimization and recycling plans, along with awareness-raising campaigns leading to the adoption of good environmental practices by its employees. There are many kinds of non-hazardous waste, including electronic equipment, metal, pipe, wood, plastic, paper, etc. 

The tables below show a breakdown of non-hazardous waste generated:

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE (T) PRODUCED 2012 PRODUCED 2011 PRODUCED 2010
SPAIN  363,288  384,920  80,665
UNITED KINGDOM  115,723  148,002  225,612
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  124,306  83,358  44,272
MEXICO  15,601  14,543 13,320
BRAZIL  9,517  9,388  2,933
REST OF THE WORLD  2  7  834
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  628,435 640,218 367,635

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
 NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2012 DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2011

SPAIN

318,898 368,976
UNITED KINGDOM 40,342 46,092
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 43,483 52,565
MEXICO 15,574 14,480
BRAZIL 316 145
REST OF THE WORLD 0 0
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  418,612 482,258

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
  RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2012 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2011

SPAIN

44,447 17,241
UNITED KINGDOM 73,728 101,717
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 13,726 8,897
MEXICO 27 64
BRAZIL 6,566 6,457
REST OF THE WORLD 526 0
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  139,020 134,375

 

IBERDROLA does not directly ship, import or export hazardous waste included in the Basel Convention in any of the countries where it operates.

 

Footnotes:

  • Note (1) For more information, please refer to the Nuclear Safety Council's technical report “Environmental Radiological Monitoring Programmes. 2005 Results”, which is available on www.csn.es.
  • Note (2) Source: European Coal Combustion Products Association (ECOBA) www.ecoba.org.
  • Note (3) There is only data on waste produced for 2010.
  • Note (4) For liquid waste, kg are converted based on a density of 1.3 kg/m3.
  • Note (5) Hazardous waste from the demineralisation of water at the Energy Works Brazil cogeneration plants is not taken into account due to the fact that the management thereof is performed by the associated industry.
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