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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 78% of fly ash is reused to produce cement and as filling in infrastructure work in 2014; 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

In the thermal power plant generation process, fly ash and slag are the most typical types of waste. 650,101 t of fly ash were produced in 2014, 207,130 t in Spain, and 442,971 t in the United Kingdom; of the total, 78% was reused to produce cement as filling in infrastructure work and to produce compost. Also produced were 54,316 t of boiler slag and non-fly ash, of which 68% 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:

PRODUCTION/REUSE OF ASH GENERATED IN IBERDROLA THERMAL POWER PLANTS
YEAR ASH PRODUCED ASH REUSED % REUSED
2014 650,101 510,231 78
2013 653,341 534,458 82

 

Nuclear waste

During 2014, 79 m3 of radioactive waste were produced in the low-level / low-activity category at the Cofrentes plant in Spain, and 75 m3 were sent to be deposited at the El Cabril temporary storage facility. The rest of the nuclear power plants in which IBERDROLA holds an interest produced 68.8 m3 of low-level / low-activity nuclear waste (a figure corresponding to the attributable percentage), and 2.3 m3 were sent to El Cabril.

The same year, 185 m3 of intermediate- and low-level radioactive waste were produced at the Cofrentes plant, and 233 m3 were sent to be deposited at the El Cabril temporary storage facility. The rest of the nuclear power plants in which IBERDROLA holds an interest produced 81.7 m3 of low-level / low-activity nuclear waste (a figure corresponding to the attributable percentage), and 57.2 m3 were sent to El Cabril.

The fuel assemblies no longer useful for electric energy production are considered high-activity waste and are stored as spent assemblies within the pools of the nuclear reactors. At the Cofrentes plant, no assemblies were replaced, with a resulting total of 3,980 fuel assemblies stored in the pool. At the other plants in which an interest is held, 164 assemblies were replaced, 61 of which are attributable to IBERDROLA. There is a total amount of 3,595 assemblies attributable to the Company. 

More information 

Other waste

Hazardous waste 

Within the framework of the environmental management systems, the various businesses of the Group carry out activities designed to minimise and improve the management of the hazardous waste that is produced (PCB-contaminated equipment and oil, lubricants, resins, emulsions, etc.). The waste is periodically delivered to authorised handlers for proper processing. Not all of the waste generated is deposited or recycled immediately given that there are temporary warehouses for hazardous waste at the facilities.

The hazardous wastes are shown below:

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATIONNote (2)   PRODUCED (TOTAL) 2014  PRODUCED 2013
SPAIN  15,546  9,271
UNITED KINGDOM  9,630  3,084
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  699  772
 MEXICO  84  78
 BRAZIL  229  179
 REST OF THE WORLD  119  43
EXTEND BOUNDARY  29,607  19,776

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATIONNote (2)  DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2014
 DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2013
SPAIN  9,688  3,832
UNITED KINGDOM  1,633  1,257
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA  302  414
 MEXICO  84  78
 BRAZIL 229  0
 REST OF THE WORLD  25  6
EXTEND BOUNDARY  15,229  8,318

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATIONNote (2)  RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2014 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2013
SPAIN  5,814  5,391
UNITED KINGDOM  7,996  1,821
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  315  358
 MEXICO  0  0
 BRAZIL  229  120
 REST OF THE WORLD  66  18
GROUP AND AFFILIATES  14,433  7,768

 

Noteworthy is the decommissioning of the Santurce and Escombreras thermal plants as waste generating sources. In Spain Networks Business, waste has increased due to the management of power transformers that have been eliminated to avoid the risk of theft. At ScottishPower Networks, cabling has been removed, and at Rokas Group (Greece) there has been some waste from renovations and scheduled maintenance activities.

Non hazardous waste

The non-hazardous waste produced is quite diverse: electronic equipment, metals, tubing, wood, plastics, paper, etc., and the Company has minimisation, reutilisation, and recycling plans and awareness-raising campaigns to promote the adoption of good environmental practices by its employees.

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

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
NON-HAZARDOUS WASTENote (2) (T) PRODUCED 2014 PRODUCED 2013
SPAIN  333,570  290,006
UNITED KINGDOM  158,848  159,570
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA  55,487  70,244
MEXICO  15,469  13,756
BRAZIL  68,356  5,812
REST OF THE WORLD  0  0
EXTEND BOUNDARY  637,356 541,607

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
 NON-HAZARDOUS WASTENote DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2014 DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2013
SPAIN 288,517 274,094
UNITED KINGDOM 68,603 56,773
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 48,273 62,394
MEXICO 15,469 13,756
BRAZIL 0 198
REST OF THE WORLD 0 0
EXTEND BOUNDARY 425,872 407,696

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
  RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2014 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2013
SPAIN 44,553 10,131
UNITED KINGDOM 33,571 102,266
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 6,799 10,187
MEXICO 0 0
BRAZIL 68,267 5,639
REST OF THE WORLD 526 0
EXTEND BOUNDARY 153,189 128,281

 

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”, which is available on www.csn.es.
  • Note (2) For liquid waste, kg are converted based on a density of 1.3 kg/m3.
  • © 2015 Iberdrola, S.A. All rights reserved.