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2017 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

2. Who was Who in the Making of Spanish Nuclear Programme, c.1950–1985



In 1964, the leading Spanish electricity companies began an ambitious project to construct nuclear power plants. Twenty years later, Spain was one of the most nuclear countries in the world. For facilitating quick adoption of one of the most cutting-edge technologies of the post-war world, it was vital to secure government support for private companies and the transfer of US expertise and financial credit, encourage the emergence of a local capital equipment industry and engineering services, and train experts and operators.
The National Archives of United Kingdom [henceforth NAUK] AB 65219. Report of the British Ambassador to the Foreign Office and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Agency [UKAEA] (7/7/1965).
NAUK, Foreign Office [FO] 371.923228. José Ignacio Martín Artajo, La Energía Atómica: sus características y su aplicación para fines militares (Madrid: Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias, 1946).
Decree-Law of 22 October 1951. José Ma Otero Navascués, “Nuclear Energy in Spain,” Nuclear Engineering International 17, no. 188 (1972): 25–8.
Otero, 1972, “Nuclear Energy in Spain,” p. 25. Albert Presas i Puig, “The Correspondence between Jose Maria Otero Navascues and Karl Wirtz: An Episode in the International Relations of the Junta de Energia Nuclear,” Arbor 167, no. 659–60 (2000): 527–601. See Chap. 4 in this volume.
NAUK, FO 371 125 244. ‘Spain is one of those power-hungry countries most interested in use atomic power.’
NAUK, FO 371.923228. Top Secret Report of 13/07/1951. Meeting between Suanzes and W.H. Knox, president of Westinghouse.
Ana Romero de Pablos and José Manuel Sánchez -Ron, Energía Nuclear en España. De la JEN al CIEMAT (Madrid: Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, 2001).
NAUK, Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] 371 121949, OEEC Nuclear Energy.
NAUK, FO AB 38280. Report on a visit to the Spanish Nuclear Energy Organisation (20-29/3/1961).
NAUK, FCO 371 121953, OEEC Nuclear Energy (1957). M. Adamson, L. Camprubi, and S. Turchetti, “From the Ground Up: Uranium Prospection in Western Europe,” in The Surveillance Imperative: Geosciences during the Cold War and Beyond, ed. S. Turchetti and P. Roberts (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 23–44.
Antonio Gómez Mendoza, Javier Pueyo, and Carles Sudrià, Electra y el Estado : la intervención pública en la industria eléctrica bajo el Franquismo, 1st ed. (Cizur Menor: Thomson Civitas, 2007). See Chap. 3 in this volume.
Romero de Pablos and Sánchez-Ron, 2001, Energía Nuclear en España. See also Chaps. 2 and 5 in this volume.
NAUK, FO AB 371 132 737. Visit of the UKAEA to companies linked to nuclear energy (October 1958). Tecnatom, Tecnatom 1957–2007. Medio siglo de tecnología nuclear en España (Madrid: Tecnatom SA, 2007). See Chap. 3 in this volume.
Archivo Histórico del Banco de España [henceforth AHBE], Instituto Español de Moneda Extranjera [henceforth IEME], Secretariat, C.137. Report for the Presidency of the Government (1961). FAE (1963). Ana Romero de Pablos, “Energía Nuclear e Industria en la España de Mediados del Siglo XX. Zorita, Santa María de Garoña y Vandellòs I,” in La Física en la Dictadura. Físicos, fultura y poder en España 1939-1975, ed. Nestor Herrán and Xavier Roque (Bellaterra: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2012), 45–63, p. 49. De la Torre and Rubio, 2015, La financiación exterior del desarrollo industrial español, p. 102.
Manuel-Jesús González, La economía española del Franquismo, 1940–1070. Dirigismo, Mercado y Planificación (Barcelona: Tecnos, 1979).
De la Torre and Rubio, 2015, La financiación exterior del desarrollo industrial español, pp. 46–47.
De la Torre and Rubio, 2015, La financiación exterior del desarrollo industrial español, pp. 110–11. Jaime Mac Veigh, Ensayo sobre un Programa de Energía Nuclear en España (Madrid: Banco Urquijo, 1957).
Manuel Gutiérrez Cortines, “Las Centrales Atómicas en los programas de construcción de las empresas eléctricas,” in Círculo de La Unión Mercantil e Industrial de Madrid (Madrid: Círculo de la Unión Mercantil e Industrial de Madrid, 1958).
NAUK, FO 371149577. Note for the record (2/5/1960).
NAUK, FO 371149578. Note for the record (10/5/1960). “The Americans would provide credit for 15 years which was likely to be double that available from the European companies. In these circumstances the Americans tender might have to be accepted.”
NAUK, FO 371149578. Note of record on visit to JEN (15/6/1960).
AHBE-IEME, Secretaría, C.133. FO. AB 61105. Visit of Señor MacVeigh to Atomic Construction Limited (14/8/1959). MacVeigh explained that “this is more easily obtained if the foreign currency involved is American dollars as better credit terms are available from the Americans”.
NAUK, AB 6591. British Embassy Report (23/11/1962).
Their goal was “to buy nuclear reactors with the minimum capital investment and on the maximum amount of loans from external sources which would suggest that they would accept one of the lower capital cost American water reactor […] than the higher cost as [British] Magnox”. NAUK, AB 38323. Note of record (25/11/1964).
Otero “was profoundly disturbed by the resignation” of Suanzes, “a close and confident of General Franco” and “favourably disposed to the Junta’s ideas for a nuclear power programme”. Even more, he “is clearly not prepared to recommend the construction of any power reactor in Spain which does not use his concentrates”. NAUK, AB 38280. Discussion JEN-UKAE (4/3/1964). Ibid., Visit of UKAEA to Madrid (December 1962).
Ibid. Otero thought that “The utilities are strong and influential in Spain”. They had already been warned by British industry experts: the type of reactor chosen “will depend to a great extent on the influence the Junta has with Senor López Bravo, the responsible minister”. NAUK, AB. 65 91. Note of record (29/4/1963).
Manuel Gutiérrez Cortines, “Nuclear Industry in Spain,” Nuclear Engineering International 17, no. 188 (1972): 31–2.
BOE-A-1964-7544. The law did not cover the fact that alliances should be established with foreign partners to improve their technological and organisational capacities. The idea that it was necessary to achieve a high degree of Spanish participation in nuclear projects was covered in the first Development Plan (1964–67), which set it at a minimum of 40% (including civil engineering). From 1969, the National Electricity Plan went on revising that figure until it got to 50% in 1972, 60% in 1975, and 75% in 1978.
NAUK, AB 6591. Notes on a visit to Windscale by three Spanish Nuclear engineers (27/1/1964). “The JEN were not mentioned as a factor in Spain’s nuclear programme, except for the experimental work they were doing in organic moderated rector system for the future.”
Enrique Kaibel, “Manufacture of Components for Nuclear Power Stations by Spanish Industry,” Nuclear Engineering International 17, no. 188 (1972): 35–7. Manuel Gutiérrez Cortines, 1972, “Nuclear Industry in Spain,” p. 32.
José Ignacio Pradas Poveda, “Los Bienes de Equipo como columna vertebral de la Industria: Una aproximación a la evolución industrial desde la perspectiva asociativa,” Economía Industrial, no. 394 (2016): 117–23. ABC (1/5/1974: 54). Sercobe, “a semi-official body”, “serves […] to interface with the Government on the national industrial policy” and “to assist members firms to understand the future requirements in their field both in scale and in technology”. NAUK, AB 38763. Report December 1973.
ABC (13/12/1968), La Vanguardia (22/09/1971 and 09/06/1972).
NAUK, AB. 38323 (25/11/1964). The 1969 report emphasised the need for standardisation of nuclear plants and forecasted the construction of a fuel plant; the JEN was assigned these responsibilities. NAUK, AB 38763 Report (November 1969).
The JEN had been giving preference to this line of research since 1968; it has been looking for preferred partners in Great Britain, Germany and France. NAUK, FCO 55299 Report Spain (July 1968) and Visit of Señor López Bravo (April–May 1969).
BOE, no. 199 (20/8/1969).
Energía Nuclear, 1967, no. 49: 428–9.
Alfonso Álvarez Miranda, Política Energética e Industrial. Intervenciones del Ministro de Industria Alfonso Álvarez Miranda (Madrid: Ministerio de Industria y Energía, 1976).
Adolfo Pérez Luiña, “Energía Nuclear: riesgos y beneficios,” Energía Nuclear, no. 74 (1971): 491–501.
Nuclear Engineering International, January 1972. Survey of Spain.
NAUK, FCO 91829, Report about Spain Nuclear Programme (July 1968).
BOE no. 15, January 18, 1972, p. 915–916. Archivo Histórico de la Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales [ASEPI], 4912 C. and C. 26.
BOE, no. 236, 2/10/1972, p. 99–17598.
The President of UNESA had “an action crucial in the entry of capital private in Auxiesa”. ASEPI, C.566, exp. 1748, letters President INI and Industry Minister, 26 and 27/7/1971).
NAUK, AB 38763. Visit to Spanish Atomic Energy Organisations (17–21 December 1973).
NAUK, FCO 55299. Confidential Reports of Spain (October 1968 and July 1969).
Tecnatom (2007, p. 60). AB 38763.
AHBE, IEME, Data Control, C. 1973. ASEPI, C. 26. Report on dealings with Exim (28/11/1973).
Chaps. 4 and 5 of this book.
Fredrik Logevall and Andrew Preston, eds., Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations, 1969–1977 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). Roham Alvandi, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah. The United States and Iran in the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).
“While much of the work on these plants will be done in Spain, a large share will be performed by Westinghouse employees here in the United States. A lot in the Pittsburgh area”, Donald C. Burnham, executive officer said. “In other words, part of the job has be done in Spain”. The Pittsburgh Press, (April 6, 1972). Library and Archives Senator John Heinz History Center [henceforth LASHHC] Archives Series I Box 31.
“What is the toughest competitor worldwide. […] The General Electric Corporation, of course, dwarfs all of the other ones. I would put Brown Boveri next. Siemens certainly is a factor worldwide, and ultimately the Japanese are going to be a factor worldwide, although really they aren’t too much of a factor now”. LASHHC, Archives Series I Box 6. Financial Analyst Seminar, February 22, 1972.
Burr Williams, “A Scheme of ‘Control: The United States and the Origins of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, 1974–1976,” The International History Review 36, no. 2 (2014): 252–76. Canada, France, Japan, West Germany, United Kingdom, Soviet Union and United States belonged to the group and in which Kissinger declared to feel “load[ed] around the world, like Don Quixote”. See also http://​nsarchive.​gwu.​edu/​nukevault/​ebb467/​
Guillermo Velarde, Proyecto Islero. Cuando España pudo desarrollar armas nucleares (Córdoba: Guadalmazán, 2016).
The National Archives and Records Administration [NARA] Document 1975STATE186005.
María del Mar Rubio-Varas and Joseba De la Torre, “‘Spain-Eximbank’s Billion Dollar Client’: The Role of the US Financing the Spanish Nuclear Program,” in Electric Worlds/Mondes Électriques. Creations, Circulations, Tensions, Transitions (19th–21st C.) (Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2016), 245–68.
It was the Deputy Socialist Javier Solana. Diario Congreso Diputados, no. 129, p. 5169.
Pérez Luiña, 1971, “Energía Nuclear: riesgos y beneficios.”
Rafael Moreno, La Historia secreta de las bombas de Palomares (Barcelona: Crítica, 2016). Michael A. Rockland, An American Diplomat in Franco Spain (Hansen Publishing Group, 2012).
“At the beginning this fact was denied by a JEN official”. The JEN “has bought vast amount of agricultural products which have been buried”. Nuclear Engineering International, no. 5, June 1971. Blanco y Negro (26/6/1971).
Among the documentation that the new Industry Ministry, Alfonso Alvarez Miranda got with his appointment in 1975 an exhaustive listing of the nuclear projects under consideration and the social opposition existing (or not) in each case. AAAM personal documentation.
Alvarez Miranda, 1976, Política Energética e Industrial.
Wolfgang Rüdig, Anti-Nuclear Movements: A Survey of Opposition to Nuclear Energy (Harlow: Longman Group, 1990). Vicenç Fisas, Centrales nucleares: Imperialismo tecnológico y proliferación nuclear (Madrid: Campo Abierto Ediciones, 1978). Benito Sanz, Centrales Nucleares en España. El parón nuclear (Valencia: Fernando Torres, 1984). Pedro Costa Morata, Ecologiada (100 Batallas): Medio Ambiente y Sociedad en la España reciente (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2011). Raúl López Romo and Daniel Lanero Táboas, “Antinucleares y Nacionalistas. Conflictividad Socioambiental en el País Vasco y la Galicia rurales de la Transición,” Historia Contemporánea 43 (2012): 749–77. Luis Sánchez-Vázquez and Alfredo Menéndez-Navarro, “Nuclear Energy in the Public Sphere: Anti-Nuclear Movements vs. Industrial Lobbies in Spain (1962–1979),” Minerva 53, no. 1 (2015). Springer: 69–88. Mario Gaviría and José Ma Perea, El paraíso estancado. la complementariedad hispanoalemana (La Catarata, 2015), 227–36.
Raúl López Romo, 2012, Euskadi en Duelo: la Central Nuclear de Lemóniz como símbolo de la transición vasca.
Interview with C. Pérez de Bricio, Minister of Industry and Energy ABC (17/10/1976).
The commission was composed by the Minister of Industry A. Oliart, the Commissioner of Energy L. Magaña, and three energy experts of Socialist Party, Communist Party and Center-right Party, J.M. Kindelan, R. Tamames, and J.L. Mellán. ABC (26/10/1977).
Moncloa Pacts, in Fuentes Quintana, Enrique, “Los Pactos de La Moncloa y la Constitución de 1978,” in Economía y Economistas españoles, ed. Enrique (director) Fuentes Quintana, vol. 8 (Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg/Círculo de Lectores, 2004), 233–34. The Memorandum of NY Federal Reserve about Spain’s Economic Policies and the Devaluation of the Peseta had synthesised this idea: “a nuclear energy program designed to eventually cut oil imports”. Archives of Federal Reserve Bank of New York [AFRBNY], Research Memorandum, August 30, 1977. Box 615911.
ABC (7/8/1977, p. 38) y ABC de Sevilla (7/8/1977, p. 19).
Salvador Martín Arancibia, “Energía y Política,” Cuadernos de Ruedo Ibérico, no. 63–6 (1979). París: Ruedo Ibérico: 269–302.
Words of Alegre Marcet. ABC (15/10/1977, p. 38).
Statement by Deputy Letamendia (Diario Congreso Diputados, no. 129). Oliart had worked for the electronic companies like a bank manager (ABC, 9/9/1980).
The new Minister of Industry and Energy A. Rodríguez Sahagún summed it up: “the nuclear option is an option that we necessarily have to walk”. Diario Congreso Diputados, no. 47 (20/4/1978, p. 1701).
ABC (18/12/1977, p. 22). Journal of Sessions, no. 10 (1/11/1979).
Words of the communist deputy R. Tamames. Congressional Journal of Deputies, no. 47 (20/4/1978).
Juan Muñoz and Ángel Serrano, “La configuración del sector eléctrico y el negocio de la Construcción de Centrales Nucleares,” Cuadernos de Ruedo Ibérico 63–69 (1979): 127–267. See Chap. 3 of this book.
Words of Popular Party congressman Valle Menéndez. Diario Congreso Diputados, no. 47 (20/4/1978). Foro Atómico Español, Efectos directos de una moratoria nuclear En España (Madrid: FAE, 1979).
ASEPI, Financial situation of Enusa, 1979–1982. C. 222.
This Mining engineer worked as civil servant from 1964. In 1975 was nominated General Director of Energy and Commissioner in 1977. BOE 27/12/975_26763 and 9/3/1977_6080.
Alfonso Ballestero, José M a de Oriol y Urquijo (Madrid: Lid., 2014), 234.
Miguel Boyer, 1980, “La Empresa Pública en la estrategia industrial española: El INI.” Crecimiento Económico y crisis estructural en España: (1959–1980), p. 645.
María Carmen Mestre, “Las Empresas eléctricas durante la crisis energetica,” Investigaciones Economicas, no. 3 (1977): 143–74. Martín Gallego Málaga, 1978, “El futuro del sector eléctrico español,” El País, May 27. Martin Gallego Málaga, Carmen Mestre Vergara, and Adolfo Sánchez-Real, 1980, “El Sector Eléctrico, entre la racionalización y la nacionalización,” El País, July 16.
Conference of M. López de Pablos, President of Iberduero. ABC (30/10/1984).
Santiago López-García, “Cuando optimizar se convierte en un Bien Público,” in La Creación de Red Eléctrica de España: Empresarios y reguladores en tensión: [1982–1985], ed. Santiago López-García (Madrid: Red Eléctrica de España SA, 2010), 11–14. Martín Gallego Málaga, Carmen Mestre Vergara, and Juan Manuel Kindelán, “La gestación de Red Eléctrica de España en el marco de la reestructuración energética del primer Gobierno socialista,” in La creación de Red Eléctrica de España: Empresarios y reguladores en tensión: [1982–1985] (Madrid : Red Eléctrica de España, 2010), 23–32.
According to Sener, Empresarios Agrupados and Initec, the Spanish nuclear programme enabled technological innovation, with an international projection, and exports of nuclear goods and services to Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and Pakistan. ABC (1/12/1983, p. 139).
A summary of the report on ABC (2/9/1988).
Who was Who in the Making of Spanish Nuclear Programme, c.1950–1985
Joseba De la Torre
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