Refueling outage

Operation at a power plant is strongly tied to the periodical replacement of a part of its fuel to guarantee future operation. This process is technically known as refueling outage.

Refueling outage, besides facilitating fuel replacement, allows for multiple maintenance and revision tasks to be carried out in equipment that might otherwise not permit inspection during normal operation, as well as design modifications with a view to optimizing the technology of the Plant’s equipment and components.


Each refueling process must be studied and planned in detail, so as to pre-establish its duration, number of tasks to execute, and the contracting of technicians needed to carry out the process.

Cofrentes NPP has executed from its connection in 1984 to 2019, a total of 22 refueling outages. The start of the next refueling is scheduled for 2021.

During the tasks involved in refueling, a third of the elements housed in the reactor vessel are extracted by a mechanical arm on a platform, and transferred in pools to the transfer tube, to be sent to used-fuel storage pools. The process of loading new fuel follows the same path, yet inversely.

Refuelling outage proccess at Cofrentes nuclear power plant