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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 71% of fly ash is reused to produce cement and as filling in infrastructure work in 2015; 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. 693,875 t of fly ash were produced in 2015, 276,416 t in Spain, and 417,459 t in the United Kingdom; of the total, 71% was reused to produce cement as filling in infrastructure work and to produce compost. Also produced were 56,156 t of boiler slag and non-fly ash, of which 90% 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
2015 693,875 493,895 71
2014 650,101 510,231 78
2013 653,341 534,458 82

 

Nuclear waste

During 2015, 76 m3 of radioactive waste were produced in the low-low level activity category at the Cofrentes plant in Spain, and 30 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 71,7 m3 of low-low level activity nuclear waste (a figure corresponding to the attributable percentage), and it was not sent to El Cabril no amount.

The same year, 212 m3 of intermediate-low level activity radioactive waste were produced at the Cofrentes plant, and 216 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 84.8 m3 of intermediate-low level activity nuclear waste (a figure corresponding to the attributable percentage), and 78.8 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, 252 fuel assemblies were replaced, with a resulting total of 4,232 fuel assemblies stored in the pool. At the other plants in which an interest is held, 168 assemblies were replaced, 71 of which are attributable to Iberdrola. There is a total amount of 3,757 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) 2015    PRODUCED (TOTAL) 2014  PRODUCED (TOTAL) 2013
SPAIN 19,828 15,552 9,276
UNITED KINGDOM 2,775 9,630 3,084
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA 591 699 772
 MEXICO 149 84 78
 BRAZIL 1,258 3,523 6,512
 REST OF THE WORLD 33 119 43
EXTEND BOUNDARY 24,635 29,607 19,765

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATIONNote (2) DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2015
 DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2014
 DEPOSITED AND/O
INCINERATED 2013
SPAIN 16,158 9,693 3,836
UNITED KINGDOM 547 1,633 1,257
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 141 302 414
 MEXICO 149 84 78
 BRAZIL 39 3,491 2,726
 REST OF THE WORLD 7 25 6
EXTEND BOUNDARY 17,041 15,229 8,318

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATION (T)
HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATIONNote (2) RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2015 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2014 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2013
SPAIN 3,626 5,815 5,391
UNITED KINGDOM 2,196 7,996 1,821
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA 451 315 358
 MEXICO 0 0 0
 BRAZIL 1,213 241 179
 REST OF THE WORLD 27 66 18
GROUP AND AFFILIATES 7,512 14,433 7,768

 

The production of hazardous waste in 2015 was mainly due to work associated with cleaning a pool at the Santurce combined cycle plant and excavation of waste materials from the storage facility at the former Santurce thermal plant. At the Cofrentes nuclear plant a larger volume of waste was managed than in previous years due to implementation of the third phase in the replacement of cooling tower fill. Demolition works continued at the Cockenzie power station; the works began in March 2013.

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 2015 PRODUCED 2014 PRODUCED 2013
SPAIN 438,413 333,781 290,252
UNITED KINGDOM 185,790 158,848 159,570
UNITED STATES OF  AMERICA 66,377 55,487 70,244
MEXICO 13,901 15,469 13,756
BRAZIL 34,314 73,779 7,785
REST OF THE WORLD 0 0  0
EXTEND BOUNDARY 738,795 637,365 541,607

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
 NON-HAZARDOUS WASTENote DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2015 DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2014 DEPOSITED AND/OR INCINERATED 2013
SPAIN 326,811 288,649 274,296
UNITED KINGDOM 28,174 68,603 56,773
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 52,210 48,273 62,394
MEXICO 13,901 15,469 13,756
BRAZIL 3,086 4,833 478
REST OF THE WORLD 0 0 0
EXTEND BOUNDARY 424,182 425,872 407,696

 

NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE
  RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2015 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2014 RECOVERED, RECYCLED, REUSED 2013
SPAIN 111,340 44,588 10,174
UNITED KINGDOM 157,013 33,571 102,266
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 14,196 6,799 10,187
MEXICO 0 0 0
BRAZIL 29,287 68,530 5,639
REST OF THE WORLD 0 0 0
EXTEND BOUNDARY 311,836 153,487 128,281

 

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) Source: ECOBA–European Coal Combustion Products Association-, www.ecoba.org.
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