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Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant
Lemoniz NPP
Lemoniz NPP
Country Spain
Reactors canceled 2 (1,800 MW)
Other details

Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant was a nuclear power plant under construction in Lemoniz, Spain in 1983 when the Spanish nuclear power expansion program was cancelled following a change of government. Its two PWRs, each of 900MWe, were almost complete but were never operated.

Conflict concerning the Lemóniz Nuclear Power Plant was one of the major anti-nuclear issues in the 1970s and 1980s in Spain.[1]

ETA response

The building of the power station was opposed by ETA, a militant Basque independentist organisation. The first attack on the site was on the 18th of December 1977, when an ETA commando unit attacked a Guardia Civil post which was guarding the station. One of the etarras, David Álverez Peña was injured in the attack and died a month later. On the 17th of March, 1978, ETA planted a bomb in the reactor of the station, causing the death of two workers (Andrés Guerra and Alberto Negro), and wounded another two. The explosion also caused substantial material damage to the facility, which set back construction.

Gladys del Estal, anti-nuclear activist killed during the construction of the station.

On the 3rd of June, 1979 an anti-nuclear activist, Gladys del Estal, from Donostia died after being hit by a bullet during a demonstration in Tudela (Navarra) on the international day of action against nuclear power. Ten days later, on the 13th of June, ETA managed to get another bomb into the works on the facility, this time in the turbine area. The explosion caused the death of another worker, Ángel Baños.

The escalation of ETA's actions ended on the 29th of January, 1981, when they kidnapped the chief engineer of the power station, José María Ryan, from Bilbao. They gave a week for the facility to be demolished and threatened to kill the kidnapped engineer. Although there was a large demonstration in Bilbao for the liberation of the engineer, and after the deadline for demolishing the station had passed, ETA killed Ryan, causing an outcry and the first anti-ETA strike.

However, the killing of Ryan resulted in the de-facto stoppage of works at the site, and Iberdrola officially stopped the works while waiting for the Basque Government to explicitly support continuing the development.


  1. ^ Lutz Mez, Mycle Schneider and Steve Thomas (Eds.) (2009). International Perspectives of Energy Policy and the Role of Nuclear Power, Multi-Science Publishing Co. Ltd, p. 371.

External links

Coordinates: 43°25′59.51″N 2°52′21″W / 43.4331972°N 2.8725°W / 43.4331972; -2.8725



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