Specific problems such as the embrittlement of the WER reactors or the integrity evaluation of the Yankee Rowe reactor pressure vessel, show the necessity of continuing in the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the embrittlement. Besides, in order to increase the safety and performance of the nuclear power plants, it is important to optimize the surveillance programmes and develop the mitigation techniques of the damage caused by neutron radiation.
The main activities carried out in Spain are related to the surveillance programmes and to phase III of the IAEA Coordinated Research Programme, although other smaller projects also show the interest of the utilities in the embrittlement issues. The extension of the work performed as well as some of the most relevant results are shown in this paper. Some new projects are being considered. The participation in the recently created European Action Group for RPV Materials Irradiation Effects and Studies (AMES) is of huge value for Spain. This Group try mainly give a European response in the field of the standards. In spite of the nuclear moratorium that has been in vigour in Spain for several years and the present economic crisis, there is a general interest in participation in international projects. That is the case of the Spanish contribution to the certification of Avanced Light-Water Reactors. In particular, regarding the embrittlement problem, in the development of a reactor pressure vessel and support skirt material surveillance programme for the Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (SBWR).