ITALY

(Updated 2021)

PREAMBLE AND SUMMARY

This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in Italy, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operations of nuclear power plants.

The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in Italy.

Italy launched its nuclear power programme in the early 1960s with the construction of four nuclear power plants (NPPs) and some fuel cycle research facilities. One additional NPP was under construction in the 1980s, while others were planned. However, following the referendum of 1987, in the aftermath of the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, the decision was taken to stop the nuclear programme and to definitively shut down units in operation. In 2009, the nuclear energy option was explored again; however, a referendum was called in 2011 following the events of the Fukushima accident, where the Government took the decision based on the results to stop the new programme entirely.

As Italy has no nuclear power reactors in operation and is not planning a nuclear power programme, its main activities in the nuclear field relate to waste management and decommissioning of existing installations, coupled with the operation of a few research reactors and the use of radiation sources in medical, industrial and research fields.

1. COUNTRY ENERGY OVERVIEW

1.1. ENERGY INFORMATION

1.1.1. Energy policy

Italy, relatively poor in conventional energy raw materials, has historically paid great attention to renewable sources, energy efficiency and energy saving as tools to reduce dependence and mitigate the environmental and climatic effects of the energy cycle.

Recent technological progress in renewable sources, means of transport, accumulation systems, energy efficiency and communication technology offers a renewed opportunity to resolve the conflict between competitive prices of energy and support for decarbonization.

Under these conditions, Italy’s energy policy was recently updated by the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection (MATTM) [1]. After public consultation, which started on 12 June 2017, a ministerial decree was issued on 10 November 2017 for the adoption of the National Energy Strategy for 2030, available on the MISE and MATTM web sites.

The key themes leading to the Government proposal for a new national energy strategy included: the country’s increasing competitiveness due to its aligning Italy’s energy prices with Europe, improvements in the security of supply and provision, and the decarbonization of the energy system in line with the long term objectives of the Paris Agreement. These three objectives had already been indicated in the European Union’s energy policy in 1990, and the European Union continues to develop its action plan along these lines. The set actions are slated to continue through 2030, according to the Clean Energy Package, presented in November 2016 by the European Commission (EC). The National Energy Strategy outlines an important milestone and a framework for defining a solid foundation for an integrated national plan on energy and climate, as foreseen by the Clean Energy Package.

The strategy does not include nuclear energy production, and the closed NPPs (about 1400 MW) are in the process of decommissioning by the state owned company Società Gestione Impianti Nucleari (SOGIN).

Concerning the first objective, aimed at enhancing Italy’s competitiveness, actions are oriented to narrow cost and price differentials to benefit consumers, to finalize the liberalization processes, and to rely on instruments that protect the competitiveness of energy intensive industrial sectors while preventing the risks of delocalization and safeguarding employment. In particular, price targets aim to narrow the significant gap between the cost of natural gas for household consumers in Italy compared to the European Union average: ~€20/MW·h in the second half of 2020(1). The gap is lower between electricity prices (including taxes) for household consumers in Italy compared to the European Union average: ~€2/MW·h in the second half of 2020(2).

With regard to the second objective of sustainable growth, the National Energy Strategy sets out objectives and measures to achieve sustainable growth and environmental targets, contributing in particular to a low carbon economy and to the fight against climate change. Renewable resources and energy efficiency will contribute not only to environmental protection, but also to energy security (by reducing the dependence of the energy system) and economic competitiveness through cost effective pricing of energy. For this objective, strategic actions include the following:

  • Further promotion of renewable resources, with a target of 55% for the final electricity consumption;

  • Support of energy efficiency projects that maximize sustainability, keep system charges low by curbing yearly energy consumption from 2021 to 2030 (10 Mtoe/year by 2030) and achieve the CO2 emission reduction targets for the non-emissions trading system, with a particular focus on the residential and transport sectors;

  • Step up in decarbonization of the energy system by accelerating the decommissioning of coal fired thermal power plants by 2025;

  • Increase in public resources for R&D of clean energy technologies by doubling investments: from €222 million in 2013 to €444 million in 2021.

Concerning the third objective of energy security, the steady improvement of the security and capacity of energy systems, as well as the flexibility of gas networks and power grids, will be implemented through the following steps:

  • Integration of a growing amount of renewable resources (including distributed ones) and new players, by strengthening and fostering the evolution of networks, grids and markets towards smart, flexible and resilient configurations;

  • Diversification and greater integration into European markets of gas supply sources to prevent political instability in exporting countries. Gas will play an essential role in the energy transition, for electricity generation, services and other uses, including the use of liquid natural gas in heavy and maritime transport.

The latest energy policy of Italy is contained in the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which also offers guidance on the future evolution of Italy’s energy sector [2]. Italy reported its final NECP to the European Commission on 31 December 2019, after an online public consultation on the measures proposed in the NECP draft. The NECP also describes briefly how this consultation has been taken into account. NECP establishes the national targets for 2030 for energy efficiency, renewable sources and the reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as the targets for energy security, interconnections, the single energy market and competitiveness, sustainable development and mobility, outlining for each of them the measures that will be implemented to ensure their achievement.

The NECP target for non-ETS greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 is -33% compared to emissions in 2005. Italy aims to exceed this target, with planned measures expected to reduce Italian greenhouse gas emissions in the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) sectors by 35% in 2030 compared to 2005.

Italy aims to contribute 30% (as a share of gross final consumption) to the 2030 European Union renewable energy target. This contribution is expected to have the following distribution between the sectors:

  • 55% share of renewables in the electricity sector;

  • 33.9% share of renewables in the heating sector (for heating and cooling);

  • 22% from the incorporation of renewables in the transport sector.

For energy efficiency Italy’s contribution to the collective 2030 European Union target amounts to 125.1 Mtoe for primary energy and 103.8 Mtoe for final energy consumption. Italy intends to pursue an indicative target for 2030 of 43% for primary energy consumption and of 39.7% for final energy consumption, compared to the PRIMES 2007 scenario.

In terms of security of supply, Italy intends to become less dependent on import by increasing renewable sources and energy efficiency and to diversify sources of supply. The level of dependency on imports is expected to reduce from 77.7% in 2016 to 75.4% in 2030 and to 74.6% in 2040.

On the internal energy market, the final plan includes objectives, policies and measures such as removing price distortions or including measures to ensure the non-discriminatory participation of new market participants in the deployment of the second generation of smart metering systems and the phasing-out of regulated prices.

On electricity interconnectivity, Italy expects to increase its interconnectivity level to 10% by 2030. A greater degree of market integration is believed to be an advantage for the whole European Union, and therefore electricity interconnections and market coupling with other Member States will be strengthened, but interconnections with third countries will also be studied and developed, given Italy’s geographical position, with the aim of promoting efficient exchanges.

In terms of national objectives and funding targets for research, innovation (R&I) and competitiveness, the final NECP confirms the objective to double the public funds for research into clean energy, from around €222 million in 2013 to approximately €444 million from 2021. The overall R&I target is 1.53% of GDP by 2020.

On a socially just and fair energy transition, NECP provides a good analysis of the expected socioeconomic impact, focusing on the phase-out of coal and possible impacts on occupation and skills. Italy estimates that implementing NECP will create 117 000 additional jobs each year in 2017–2030. On energy poverty, Italy reports the number of households affected and lists several existing and future measures to reduce energy poverty.

To achieve the security and flexibility objectives, the intention is to explore the potential offered by growing integration of the electricity and gas network infrastructure. In this context, it will be important to explore the costs and benefits of power to gas technological solutions which, especially over the long term, make it possible to absorb any imbalances between renewable electricity production and energy demand, especially with high levels of photovoltaic penetration. Hydrogen could contribute to this, including for non-electricity consumption.

1.1.2. Estimated available energy

Italy is heavily dependent on imported energy supplies. In 2019, the share of imported energy was 77.5%(3), but this is expected to decrease to 64% in 2030. Renewables are expected to play a key role in future strategy; renewables were already 18.2%(4) of the total final energy consumption and 34.8%(5) of the electricity consumption in 2019.

In the last decade, Italy has become one of the world’s largest producers of renewable energy, ranking as the second largest producer in the European Union after Germany and the eighth in the world, as well as the world’s sixth largest producer(6) of energy from solar power in 2018.

1.1.3. Energy Consumption Statistics

TABLE 2. ENERGY CONSUMPTION

2000 2010 2015 2019 Compound annual growth rate 2000–2019 (%)
Final Energy consumption [PJ] 7.14 7.27 6.52 6.35 -0.61
Solids** 0.53 0.57 0.51 0.27 -3.42
Liquids 3.76 2.86 2.37 2.26 -2.64
Gases 2.43 2.85 2.32 2.55 0.27
Nuclear 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Hydro 0.16 0.18 0.16 0.17 0.24
Other renewables 0.26 0.73 0.94 1.07 7.63
Total energy production (EJ) 1.19 1.38 1.51 1.55 1.40
Solids** 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Liquids 0.20 0.23 0.24 0.20 -0.18
Gases 0.57 0.29 0.23 0.16 -6.33
Nuclear 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Hydro 0.16 0.18 0.16 0.17 0.24
Other renewables 0.24 0.63 0.82 0.97 7.55

*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.

**Total energy derived from primary and secondary generation sources. Figures do not reflect potential heat output that may result from electricity co-generation.

—: data not available.

Source(s): United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1

1.2. THE ELECTRICITY SYSTEM

1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process

In 1962, Italy’s electricity sector was nationalized by Act No. 1643 of 6 December 1962. Ente Nazionale per l’Energia Elettrica (ENEL), the electricity generation board of Italy, was established and placed fully in charge of electricity production and transmission, and partially in charge of the distribution of electricity.

Over the following three decades, the electricity system –– in terms of production, transmission and distribution –– was organized to support the following model: (i) a large, nationwide company (ENEL); (ii) a number of municipal utilities, namely in the large cities such as Rome, Milan and Turin; and (iii) a large number of industrial automobile electricity producers.

Starting from the early 1990s, many changes took place in Italy’s electricity sector. By Decree No. 333 of 11 July 1992, the Government privatized some state owned industrial and commercial companies. In August 1992, ENEL became a joint stock company with its shares in the hands of the Treasury. In November 1995, the law setting up the Independent Regulatory Authority was approved, and the Authority has been operational since 1997. In December 1995, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Crafts (hereafter referred to as the Ministry of Industry) issued the new concession to ENEL.

In March 1999, a legislative decree (the Bersani Decree) was issued to restructure and liberalize Italy’s electricity sector. The purpose of the decree was both to sufficiently liberalize the sector and to guarantee such general economic interests as, for instance, a universal service, tariff equalization and the development of renewable sources.

According to the Bersani Decree, ENEL underwent complete reorganization. ENEL is now a joint stock company, the largest share of which is owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF, former Ministry of Treasury) with its 23.6%.

The main responsibility for general energy policy lies with MITE, a new Ministry that has encompassed the competences of MISE, in the field of energy, and the whole MATTM, responsible for coordinating climate change policies. Therefore, MITE is now also responsible for the promotion and development of renewable energy and for energy efficiency.

The Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF) deals with the development and coordination of policy guidelines in the fields of agriculture and forestry at the national, European and international levels. Therefore, it plays a significant role in the bioenergy sector.

The Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (ARERA) has a number of responsibilities regarding renewable energy, such as ensuring fair grid access conditions or allocating support to face renewable energy costs to different consumer groups.

The Gestore Servizi Energetici (GSE) promotes the development of renewable sources and energy efficiency, manages payments of economic incentives, and forecasts and aggregates the production of renewable energy power plants. This also includes the sale of renewable power in the electricity market and analytic support to policy makers. GSE is organized as a private company with its sole shareholder as the MEF, which exercises its shareholder rights together with MITE, which is responsible for operational guidelines.

The National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) is a public body supervised by MITE in cooperation with other ministries. Its purposes are research, technological innovation and the provision of advanced services in the energy and sustainable economic development sector. ENEA’s main research topics are energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear energy, climate and environment, safety and health, and new technologies.

The Terna group is the owner of the Italian national transmission grid for high and extra high voltage power and is the largest independent electricity transmission system operator (TSO) in Europe. Similar to GSE, Terna was established as a result of the liberalization of the electricity market in 1999.

The responsibility for energy policy is shared between the Government and national regions. Legislative Decree No. 112 of 1998 made the regions responsible for the administrative duties relating to energy, including renewable sources, electricity, oil and gas, which were not reserved to the State or assigned to local authorities. Under Constitutional Act No. 3 of 2001, the State has legislative power within the renewable energy sector, while the regions maintain administrative power (see Fig. 1).

FIG. 1. The electricity system in Italy.

1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector

Italy has fully unbundled transmission and generation ownership. Slow growth in net demand as a result of a combination of low economic activity, energy efficiency programmes and an increase in renewable capacity has also contributed to a relative surplus of generation. In spite of that, Italy continues to import significant quantities of lower priced energy from abroad.

Though natural gas is the largest single source of electricity generation in Italy, its relative share has declined in recent years in favour of increased solar and wind power generation. In fact, since 2013, total production from thermoelectric plants (natural gas, coal and oil) declined, with natural gas and coal production falling significantly. Production from renewables, on the other hand, has increased, though at a slower pace than in previous years.

The role of natural gas generation in Italy’s power mix has changed over time as the amount of solar photovoltaic and wind in the system has increased, which has in turn changed the shape of demand in certain parts of the country by reducing peak load on sunny days.

ENEL is by far the largest producer of electricity in Italy (16.6% of total national production and 36% of total energy sales), and its share is bigger than the next five companies combined (Edison, Hera, A2, Axpo Group and Eni).

Italy has very low levels of renewables curtailment, though this could change if the increase in variable renewables outpaces developments in the transmission and distribution system. In recent years, Italy has made changes to dispatch operations intended to increase system efficiency, including the introduction of a mechanism to better measure and more generally enhance the performance of frequency regulation.

In order to maintain sufficient system adequacy, MISE was instructed via the 2014 budget law to introduce a capacity system intended to remunerate flexible generation. A ministerial decree, dated 30 June 2014, further outlined the new capacity mechanism requirements; system adequacy will be measured, taking into account: (i) grid and cross-border interconnection capacity; (ii) active demand side management; and (iii) the contribution of distributed generation.

Terna, Italy’s TSO, has primary operational responsibility for electricity emergency response. The electricity distribution networks also have an important role in planning electricity emergency response.

Distribution system operators (DSOs) are required to support the TSO in the event of a network crisis. The growing share of intermittent renewables in the electricity supply requires real time information sharing, robust communication and coordination of real time power system management between the TSO and DSOs. Arguably, Italy is moving towards an electricity system in which nodes in the distribution networks will progressively move from passive to active players. This means that DSOs need to become increasingly capable of exchanging signals with distributed loads and generators as well as with Terna in order to maintain voltage and current standards, adequate performance in case of relevant incidents and, in general, the security of Italy’s power system.

The nature and volume of emergency and other resources available to Terna and other responsible parties to manage emergency events are set out in Italy’s Grid Code.

Over the years, operational procedures for emergency operation enclosed in multilateral procedures have been developed with all neighbouring countries. In particular, bilateral agreements have been signed with all neighbours for mutual emergency assistance service to supply real time service in case of any emergency operation. Written agreements that take into consideration emergency procedures have been concluded with all adjacent TSOs: the Austrian Power Grid (Austria), Swissgrid (Switzerland), RTE (France), ELES (Slovenia) and HTSO/DESMIE (Greece).

1.2.3. Main indicators

Italy’s total gross output capacity of electricity generating plants in 2019 amounted to 119.30 GW(7); the list of different energy sources is given in Table 2 and ratios in Table 3. The total gross electricity production in 2019 was 293.85 TW·h(8), including about 43.9 TW·h from wind and photovoltaic sources. High voltage transmission lines, connecting power plants with the distribution system, are mainly based on 380 kV and 220 kV lines.

TABLE 3. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION

Final Energy consumption [PJ] 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000–2019 (%)
Total 5 451 5 976 5 642 5 001 4 940 -0.52
Coal, Lignate and Peat 178 184 132 82 76 -4.38
Oil 2 604 2 653 2 275 1 970 1 882 -1.69
Natural gas 1 613 1 738 1 633 1 395 1 391 -0.78
Bioenergy and Waste 66 182 378 348 357 9.29
Electricity 980 1 080 1 074 1 032 1 045 0.34
Heat 9 139 150 174 189 17.38

*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.

**Total energy derived from primary and secondary generation sources. Figures do not reflect potential heat output that may result from electricity co-generation.

—: data not available.

Source(s): United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1

TABLE 4. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS

Electricity production (GWh) 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000–2019 (%)
Total 276 642 303 700 302 064 282 993 291 620 0.28
Coal, Lignate and Peat 30 524 49 419 44 434 45 388 16 401 -3.22
Oil 85 878 47 124 21 714 13 384 11 363 -10.10
Natural gas 101 360 149 262 152 738 110 860 144 482 1.88
Bioenergy and Waste 1 908 6 153 11 586 21 826 21 542 13.61
Hydro 50 900 42 927 54 407 46 969 47 387 -0.38
Nuclear 0 0 0 0 0
Wind 563 2 344 9 126 14 844 20 245 20.75
Solar 18 31 1 906 22 942 23 688 45.94
Geothermal 4 705 5 324 5 376 6 185 6 031 1.32
Other 786 1 116 777 595 479 -2.57

*Latest available data.

Source: RDS-1 and RDS-2

—: data not available.

2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION

2.1. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

2.1.1. Overview [4]

Italy was one of the first countries to use nuclear technology for civil power generation. Italy’s history of nuclear technology development can be split into three major periods:

  1. Pioneering period, from 1946 to 1965, during which private industry played a fundamental role;

  2. Planning period, from 1966 to 1987, during which the Government planned nuclear development;

  3. Post-referenda period, from 1988 onwards, which is characterized by the efforts to abandon nuclear energy production.

2.1.1.1. Pioneering period

In November 1946, Centro Informazioni Studi ed Esperienze (CISE) was founded, with the participation of Italy’s elite post-war industries (Edison, Montecatini and Fiat) and some of the country’s most prominent nuclear scientists. Early on, the purpose of CISE was to lay down the foundations of civil nuclear engineering; later, it was to design a natural uranium fuelled, heavy water moderated nuclear test reactor.

In June 1952, the Government established Comitato Nazionale per le Ricerche Nucleari (CNRN), an agency in charge of developing and promoting nuclear technology. In August 1960, it was reorganized and renamed as Comitato Nazionale per l’Energia Nucleare (CNEN).

In October 1958, the construction of the country’s first NPP, Latina, began. This 200 MW(e) gas–graphite reactor (Magnox, from magnesium alloy used in the fuel cans) was connected to the electric grid in May 1963. It was ordered by SIMEA, an ENI subsidiary, and contracted from the Nuclear Power Plant Company (NPPC) of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom’s Atomic Energy Authority offered support for safety aspects.

In November 1959, construction work on the Garigliano NPP began. A boiling water reactor (BWR) prototype was ordered by Società Elettro Nucleare Nazionale (SENN) from International General Electric. In January 1964, the 150 MW(e) Garigliano reactor started operation.

The Trino Vercellese NPP, a Westinghouse pressurized water reactor (PWR) with two separate turbine systems, was ordered by Società Elettro Nucleare Italiana (SELNI), a subsidiary of the Edison group. Construction on the 260 MW(e) Trino Vercellese began in August 1961. It entered into commercial operation in October 1964.

A general rule, Act No. 1860, to regulate the peaceful use of nuclear energy was issued for the first time in December 1962. This law assigned CNEN the role of nuclear regulatory body and foresaw the issuance of a subsequent law for radioactive protection of population and workers.

The safety criteria during this pioneering period were adopted from countries exporting nuclear technology (mainly the United Kingdom and the United States of America).

In 1962, the electric sector was nationalized and ENEL was established as the sole utility.

In February 1964, the Government issued a complete set of regulations, the Decree of the President of the Republic (DPR) No. 185/64, covering in detail the different aspects of nuclear safety and radiation protection. CNEN was confirmed as the official regulatory body. However, this responsibility created an inherent conflict of interest between its role as a public promoter of nuclear technology and as a regulator.

In 1964, the ownership of Latina NPP was transferred to ENEL, and in 1965 the Garigliano and Trino units were also transferred to ENEL, hence closing the first period of Italy’s nuclear history.

2.1.1.2. Planning period

In December 1966, ENEL announced massive expansion of its nuclear programme, forecasting 12 000 MW of nuclear power by 1980. A year later, in 1967, Comitato Interministeriale per la Programmazione Economica (CIPE) — responsible for coordinating the activities of ministries involved in the country’s economic planning and for defining the nuclear programme of ENEL — reorganized the nuclear sector. Among the most important actors (all state owned companies) were the following:

  • ENEL, as the sole utility;

  • ENI, in charge of nuclear fuel;

  • Ansaldo, which led collaboration with foreign suppliers and later became Italy’s nuclear components supplier.

In 1967, an agreement was signed by CNEN and ENEL to develop an Italian version of the Canada Deuterium–Uranium (CANDU) reactor. This reactor type, called CIRENE, was designed to use heavy water as a moderator and boiling water as a coolant. In 1972, Ansaldo received an order to build a 40 MW(e) prototype close to the Latina NPP. CISE actively participated in the design and construction of the CIRENE reactor, which never became operational owing to technical problems and lack of economic resources. Its construction was suspended in 1988.

In 1969, ENEL decided to build a BWR (General Electric BWR 4, Mark 2) on the site of Caorso. One year later, Ansaldo, in a joint venture with General Electric, officially received the order. Construction began at the Caorso site in 1970. After several delays in implementing improvements in the suppression pool and bolstering thermal fuel performance, this 860 MW(e) unit finally started commercial operation in 1981.

Following global oil crises in 1974, the Ministry of Industry approved a National Energy Plan that foresaw the construction of 20 NPPs in order to reduce the share of oil in Italy’s energy balance. A primary effort during that period was also to achieve a certain level of technological independence from foreign licensers. Political indecision led the industry to spread technical and economic resources over five different reactor types, namely, the General Electric BWR, the Westinghouse and Babcock PWRs, the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited CANDU and the indigenous CIRENE.

To attain the goals of the new energy plan, the Government in 1973 joined the European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium. AGIP Nucleare, a subsidiary of ENI, and CNEN were in charge of providing the country with enriched uranium for fuel fabrication. Meanwhile, in 1972, Ansaldo — in a joint venture with General Electric — completed Fabbricazioni Nucleari to manufacture the fuel elements for future BWRs. The plant was able to produce 100 tonnes of fuel annually. It started operation in 1976 and has produced more than 500 tonnes of fuel for Italy’s nuclear power stations and for the Leibstadt nuclear power station in Switzerland.

Later, in December 1973, three major European utilities signed an agreement to build the Superphénix 1200 MW(e) fast breeder reactor in France. A second smaller station was planned in Germany. The three original partners were Électricité de France (EDF), ENEL and Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE). Subsequently, RWE was substituted by Schnell-Bruter Kernkraftwerkgesellschaft (SBK), a joint enterprise of RWE, Belgian and Dutch utilities and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom’s Central Electricity Generating Board. Under the terms of this agreement, the NERSA company was created in 1974 to undertake the construction of the Creys-Malville station. EDF’s share of NERSA was 51%, ENEL had 33% and SBK had 16%. Preliminary work on the Creys-Malville site started in December 1974, the first concrete was laid in December 1976 and the reactor began operation in January 1986.

In 1976, Montalto di Castro was selected as the site for two new BWRs (General Electric BWR 4, Mark 3). The site permit was issued in 1979, exactly one month before the Three Mile Island accident. This, along with the active opposition of environmental movements, delayed the implementation of the energy plan. Moreover, ENEL faced increasing difficulties with its nuclear power stations and conventional power plants with the construction of the transmission system. During the 1980s, the nuclear option became politically contentious, almost completely halting all nuclear activities despite the commitments of several energy plans.

The National Energy Plan of 1982 reflected mixed attitudes. It called for two nuclear units at Montalto di Castro and six other units on three different sites (Piemonte, Lombardia and Puglia). The plan also identified the development of Progetto unificato nazionale (PUN), a Westinghouse PWR, as the final reactor type for the country. The most important characteristic of the PUN design was to standardize nuclear plant design and construction. Ente Nazionale per la Ricerca e lo Sviluppo dell’Energia Nucleare e delle Energie Alternative (ENEA), formerly CNEN, was split into two major branches: ENEA, responsible for research and promotion of nuclear technology, and ENEA/DISP, an independent nuclear regulatory body.

2.1.1.3. Post-referenda (disengagement) period

In 1986, a few months before the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, CIPE reaffirmed its commitment to the two BWR units at Montalto di Castro and the six PUN type PWRs. However, the impact of the accident on public opinion was enormous and a general debate on the implications of the use of nuclear energy affected the political arena. In November 1987, three referenda were passed that stopped activities and development in the nuclear energy sector.

In December 1987, CIPE halted construction of the Montalto di Castro and Piemonte plants. These were the only two sites where construction work was effectively in progress. A nuclear moratorium period of five years went into effect.

In June 1988, the Government ended all nuclear construction. The Caorso reactor, which was shut down in October 1986 for annual refuelling, remained in cold shutdown for a complete safety review and assessment. In 1989, the Operational Safety Assessment Review Team (OSART), under the aegis of the IAEA, inspected the Caorso plant. Despite both reviews, CIPE decided in July 1990 to close down the plant. At the same time, the Trino NPP was closed. The remaining units of Garigliano and Latina had already been closed down in August 1978 and November 1986, respectively.

At the same time, ENEA decided to close a number of facilities relevant to the fuel cycle: Impianto di Fabbricazione Elementi di Combustibile (IFEC); EUREX (Enriched Uranium Extraction); Impianto di Trattamento e Rifabbricazione Elementi di Combustibile (ITREC); and the plutonium plant at its Casaccia Centre (IPU). Today, Italy is inactive in the nuclear energy sector and nuclear fuel cycle.

In 2009, the Government, with the aim of restarting the nuclear power programme, promulgated Act No. 99, establishing the necessary legislative provisions to resume activities in the nuclear energy sector. Other legislative decrees were subsequently issued or prepared. It should be noted that, as provided by Art. 29 of Act No. 99, the new Nuclear Safety Agency with the role of regulatory body was established, composed of the structures and resources of the nuclear department of Italy’s National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) and by resources from ENEA. However, as provided by Legislative Decree No. 187 of 2017, the National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ISIN), the nuclear regulatory authority, has been fully established and formally operating since 1 August 2018.

More recently, Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010 establishes a new procedure for the localization and construction of a national repository for the disposal of very low level waste (VLLW) and low level waste (LLW) and the long term storage of intermediate level waste (ILW) and high level waste (HLW) and assigns SOGIN responsibility for the construction and operation of the repository. Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010 also assigns SOGIN responsibility for proposing suitable repository locations, based upon criteria established by the IAEA and the new national Agency for Nuclear Safety.

After the referendum held in June 2011, following the Fukushima accident, the planned nuclear power programme was definitively stopped.

2.1.2. Current organizational structure

In the context of privatization and liberalization of the electric energy market, and in accordance with Legislative Decree No. 79 of 16 March 1999, all of ENEL’s liabilities and assets (and all capabilities and resources) connected to nuclear power were assigned to the newly established company SOGIN, which has been operational since 1 November 1999. Its shares were transferred in 2000 to the Ministry of Treasury (now MEF); however, SOGIN acts according to guidelines issued by MITE.

Act No. 40 of 8 May 2019 implemented the “Ratification and execution of the Settlement Agreement between the Government of the Italian Republic and the European Atomic Energy Community on the governing principles of radioactive waste management responsibilities of the site of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of Ispra (in northwest Italy), made in Brussels on 27 November 2009”. Consequently, in September 2019, the JRC and SOGIN signed an agreement for the definitive transfer to SOGIN of the Ispra-1 reactor, located inside the JRC located in Ispra. With this signature, the Italian state company assumed responsibility for the dismantling of the research reactor Ispra-1.

The mission of SOGIN covers the following:

  • The decommissioning of NPPs in Italy;

  • The decommissioning of fuel cycle plants, which are the property of ENEA and Fabbricazioni Nucleari, but whose licences have been transferred to SOGIN;

  • The decommissioning of the JRC Ispra-1 reactor;

  • Siting, constructing and operating the National Repository and Technology Park;

  • The management, up to disposal, of radioactive waste resulting from past operation and dismantling activities;

  • The management of spent fuel and nuclear materials.

Authorizations are granted by MITE, on the basis of the technical advice of ISIN, the national nuclear authority. ISIN is a technical body governed by public law with operational and administrative autonomy. It is responsible for the regulation and supervision (by inspection) of nuclear installations in matters of nuclear safety and radiation protection.

MITE is the authority responsible for determining the environmental compatibility of nuclear projects, including decommissioning of nuclear power stations and other reactors.

2.2. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: OVERVIEW

2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants

Table 5 presents the status and performance of NPPs in Italy, and Fig. 2 shows the locations of NPPs and other nuclear facilities.

TABLE 5. STATUS AND PERFORMANCE OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Reactor Unit Type Net
Capacity
[MW(e)]
Status Operator Reactor
Supplier
Construction
Date
First
Criticality
Date
First Grid
Date
Commercial
Date
Shutdown
Date
UCF
for
2020
CAORSO BWR 860 Permanent Shutdown SOGIN AMN/GETS 1/1/1970 12/31/1977 5/23/1978 12/1/1981 7/1/1990
ENRICO FERMI PWR 260 Permanent Shutdown SOGIN EL/WEST 7/1/1961 6/21/1964 10/22/1964 1/1/1965 7/1/1990
GARIGLIANO BWR 150 Permanent Shutdown SOGIN GE 11/1/1959 6/5/1963 1/1/1964 6/1/1964 3/1/1982
LATINA GCR 153 Permanent Shutdown SOGIN TNPG 11/1/1958 12/27/1962 5/12/1963 1/1/1964 12/1/1987
CIRENE HWLWR 35 Cancelled Constr. ENELENEA ANSALDO 1/1/1979 1/1/1988
MONTALTO DI CASTRO-1 BWR 982 Cancelled Constr. ENEL AMN/GETS 7/1/1982 1/1/1988
MONTALTO DI CASTRO-2 BWR 982 Cancelled Constr. ENEL AMN/GETS 7/1/1982 1/1/1988
Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).
Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.

Note: BWR — boiling water reactor; const. — construction; GCR — gas cooled reactor; HWLWR — heavy water moderated, boiling light water cooled reactor; PWR — pressurized water reactor; UCF — unit capability factor.

FIG 2. Location of NPPs and other nuclear facilities.

2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals

Not applicable. Please refer to Section 2.1.1.

2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process

In 1987, a referendum was held on the use of nuclear energy. The results of the referendum were interpreted as a desire to abandon the use of nuclear energy for electricity production. After a five year moratorium, the decision to definitively shut down all of Italy’s NPPs was taken. Table 5 shows the status of the decommissioning of NPPs in Italy.

TABLE 6. STATUS OF DECOMMISSIONING PROCESS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Reactor unit Shutdown reason Decommission strategy Current decommissioning phase Current fuel management phase Decommissioning licensee Licence termination year
Latina Public acceptance or political reasons
Others
Immediate dismantling and removal of all radioactive materials Waste conditioning on-site — only for decommissioning waste
Final dismantling
SOGIN 2042
Garigliano Changes in licensing requirements after an operating incident Immediate dismantling and removal of all radioactive materials Waste conditioning on-site — only for decommissioning waste
Partial dismantling
Final dismantling
SOGIN 2040
Trino Vercellese — Enrico Fermi Public acceptance or political reasons
Others
Immediate dismantling and removal of all radioactive materials Waste conditioning on-site — only for decommissioning waste
Waste shipment off-site — only for decommissioning waste
Partial dismantling. Final dismantling
Final survey
SOGIN 2037
Caorso Public acceptance or political reasons
Others
Immediate dismantling and removal of all radioactive materials Waste shipment off-site — only for decommissioning waste
Final dismantling
SOGIN 2037

2.2.3.1. Caorso

In November 1986, the plant was shut down. Initially, the decommissioning strategy of a deferred dismantling for a period of 40 to 60 years (SAFESTORE) was envisaged. In 2000, the decommissioning strategy was changed to immediate dismantling owing to a new governmental decision.

All preliminary activities authorized by a specific ministerial decree dated 8 April 2000 (turbine dismantling, partial dismantling of residual heat removal building, decontamination of primary circuit, removal of insulating materials, dismantling of off-gas systems and shipment of spent fuel to the reprocessing plant) have been completed. A new decommissioning licence for the execution of remaining activities was granted in 2014 (an addendum was authorized in 2019). Civil works and plant systems installation for the realization of buffer areas and a waste treatment facility in the turbine building are ongoing, together with the activities of shipment for treating and conditioning spent ion exchange resins abroad. Furthermore the first temporary repositories for radioactive waste storage have been emptied for restructuring.

Between December 2007 and June 2010 all the spent fuel still present on-site was sent for reprocessing in France.

2.2.3.2. Trino

In March 1987, the plant was shut down for refuelling, which was completed in about two months. The plant was then left in cold shutdown until 1992, when it was defuelled.

A number of systems in the conventional area have been partially or entirely dismantled or removed, and the following main activities have been performed:

  • Dismantling of cooling towers (1999–2003);

  • Dismantling of emergency diesel generators and demolition of the diesel building (2003);

  • Decontaminating the primary circuit (2004);

  • Dismantling of the thermal cycle (2001–2005);

  • Dismantling of the dam (2005);

  • Removal of hazardous waste from controlled and conventional areas, in particular of insulation materials containing asbestos (1999–2008);

  • Removal of spent fuel (2015);

  • Removal of components from the radwaste building (2015);

  • Removal of non-contaminated components from the controlled area, in particular from auxiliary buildings and the reactor building (2010–2016);

  • Refurbishment of the test tank building (2016);

  • Dismantling of the emergency core cooling system tanks and other components (2016).

  • Repackaging and treatment of previous waste (2017-2019).

On 2 August 2012, the ministerial authorization for final decommissioning was issued.

Between June and September 2015, all the spent fuel that was still present on-site was sent for reprocessing in France. Non-contaminated materials and systems in controlled areas have been dismantled.

Some of the main constraints reported in the decommissioning licence require the availability of storage buildings, treatment and conditioning facilities, and a suitable radwaste system to manage waste and liquid effluents before starting decommissioning activities:

  • Refurbishment of the on-site temporary storage buildings (D1 and D2);

  • Alternative radwaste system (starting service on July 2021);

  • Materials management station;

  • Cementation station;

  • Dismantling of primary system;

  • Dismantling of vessel and internals.

The new company strategy, reviewed in 2017, anticipates some activities concerning the reactor pressure vessel and its internal structures, yet the final design phase is ongoing.

2.2.3.3. Garigliano

In August 1978, the plant was shut down owing to a crack in one of the secondary steam generators. Following a number of technical analyses and an earthquake in 1980, new safety margins were required. For economic reasons, in 1982 it was decided to close the plant and begin studies for decommissioning (SAFESTORE).

All activities for safe storage condition of the nuclear island have been performed, including sealing the reactor building and installing a new passive ventilation system. After the change of strategy, retrieval and treatment of the previously buried dry storage is ongoing. On 28 September 2012, the ministerial authorization for final decommissioning was issued. The main decommissioning projects are: adaptation of the present radioactive waste deposits and waste management facility; dismantling of the primary circuit and vessel; final remediation of the site; and demolition of the off-gas chimney.

Currently, preliminary activities for dismantling the reactor are ongoing, and the original off-gas chimney has been demolished and substituted with a new shorter stainless steel stack to operate during the decommissioning period.

All the spent fuel has been removed from the plant, and the last transport from the site was performed in 1987.

2.2.3.4. Latina

In November 1986, the plant was shut down for planned maintenance. In 1987, following the referendum, the plant was taken out of service by a governmental decision.

All spent fuel present on-site was sent for reprocessing in the United Kingdom: the last transports from the site were performed in 1991.

Almost all activities for safe storage condition of the nuclear island have been performed, according to the previously selected strategy (SAFESTORE).

The issuance of the Authorization Decree for the Prompt Decommissioning of Latina NPP (1st phase) by MISE took place on 20 May 2020. At present, the status of decommissioning activities is as follows:

  • Clean-up and decontamination operations of the pond — Step 1: Removal of large components;

  • Dismantling of upper ducts of the primary system;

  • Demolition of the turbine building;

  • Demolition of the jetty linked to sea pumps;

  • Construction of a new, temporary LLW repository;

  • Dismantling of primary coolant circuit blowers’ shell;

  • Laboratory renovation;

  • Clean-up and decontamination operations of the pond — Step 2: Radioactive parts removal and sludge transfer;

  • Dismantling of concrete shields of the primary system.

The following activities are ongoing:

  • Laboratory renovation;

  • Extracting and conditioning sludge system (LECO);

  • Construction of cutting facilities building to operate the segmentation of boilers;

  • Construction of a new radwaste (ITEA).

In 2017, the Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS) team of the IAEA concluded a 12 day mission to review Italy’s programme for decommissioning nuclear facilities and managing radioactive waste. The peer review team based its conclusions and recommendations on IAEA safety standards, good international practice and other relevant IAEA recommendations in this field. The team concluded that the cost estimate process was robust and thorough and aligned with recognized methodologies; the sequencing and approach to decommissioning activities were appropriate, when constraints such as the availability of radioactive waste disposal capacity are taken into consideration; and the techniques and technologies utilized were proven and well tested.

In 2018, within ARTEMIS, the IAEA carried out an independent technical review aimed at verifying strategies, technologies and safety measures for the removal of the reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) and internals (RVIs) of the Garigliano and Trino NPPs. The IAEA report stated that decommissioning activities were planned according to the highest international standards.

Finally, in June 2019, Italy hosted the first international workshop on Application of Sustainability Principles and Circular Economy to Nuclear Decommissioning organized by the IAEA. The event offered a forum for discussion between the experts of the Agency and industrial operators from France, Germany, Japan, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Italy, on best practices and innovation.

2.3. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR POWER SECTOR

At this moment, there are no nuclear power development programmes in Italy.

2.4. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Owing to the historical development of nuclear technology in Italy in the pioneering period, it was not possible to develop separate organizations for the roles of architect–engineer and nuclear steam systems supplier. Both activities were performed mainly by foreign companies. For example, for the Caorso NPP the supplier was a joint venture of Ansaldo and General Electric (AMN/GETS), while the architectural engineering services were provided by Gibbs & Hill of the United States of America. According to PUN, it was foreseen that ENEL would perform the architectural engineering and Ansaldo would serve as the nuclear supplier.

2.5. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

At present, there are no operating NPPs in Italy.

2.6. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE DECOMMISSIONING OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS [6]

MITE (at that time MAP, Ministry of Productive Activities), with the Ministerial Decree of 2 December 2004, updated the strategic objectives assigned to SOGIN and envisaged the decommissioning of all NPPs and nuclear fuel cycle facilities within a 20 year time frame, provided that adequate storage capacity of the resulting waste would be available. In the context of the ongoing process of authorization of the NPP decommissioning plans, the regulatory body ISIN (formerly ISPRA and, at that time, APAT), took the position that before the start of dismantling activities for the nuclear island, in the event that the final national repositories were unavailable, the licensee was to provide an adequate on-site interim storage capacity to be authorized. In this context, on the basis of the governmental decision to move to a decommissioning strategy involving the dismantling of structures and components in the span of 20 years, SOGIN has submitted comprehensive plans to MITE for Garigliano, Caorso, Trino and Latina NPPs in order to obtain the appropriate decommissioning licences.

In 2018, the Government of Italy, under the 2018 Budget Law, entrusted SOGIN with the decommissioning (dismantling) of the Ispra-1 reactor located in the JRC in Ispra. In September 2019, SOGIN and JRC Ispra signed the deed for the definitive transfer of the Ispra-1 reactor, located inside the centre.

It is to be noted that Italy’s legislation regulates the decommissioning of nuclear installations as a comprehensive set of actions whereby authorizations can be granted for subsequent phases leading up to planned and definite intermediate states. Such a possibility, however, is recognized on the condition that the proposed subdivision into phases is shown to be part of an overall decommissioning plan leading up to a final site release and defining, inter alia, the destination of resulting radioactive materials.

In addition, the national legislation requires that the decommissioning plans be authorized only following the results of the Environmental Impact Assessment.

2.7. FUEL CYCLE, INCLUDING WASTE MANAGEMENT

2.7.1. Fuel fabrication and research facilities

In Italy, there are no facilities for enriching uranium. Several installations have the capability to manufacture fuel elements; however, all are closed.

Fuel fabrication plants and research facilities are no longer in operation and will need to be decommissioned. The situation is summarized in Table below.

FUEL FABRICATION AND RESEARCH FACILITIES

Facility
Main past activities
Main decommissioning issues
EUREX: Pilot reprocessing plant (Saluggia)
Spent fuel reprocessing
Solidification of liquid waste
Fabbricazioni Nucleari: Industrial fabrication plant (Bosco Marengo)
Fabrication of fuel assemblies for light water reactors
Residual nuclear material removal
OPEC: Post-irradiation examination facility (Rome)
Post-irradiation examination of spent fuel
Spent fuel encapsulation
Removal of spent fuel scrap
Waste management
PLUTONIUM: Pilot fuel fabrication plant (Rome)
Sol-gel process development
Fuel fabrication for the AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) Chalk River Reactor
Removal of residual nuclear material
Glovebox dismantling
Waste management
ITREC: Pilot reprocessing and re-fabrication plant (Trisaia)
Reprocessing of Elk River spent fuel (U–Th) assemblies
Solidification of U–Th highly radioactive solution
Elk River spent fuel dry storage
Ispra-1: First Italian research reactor — Chicago Pile series
Study and research on reactor core; interaction between materials and neutron flux; operators training.
Decommissioning of fuel pond

The licences of these facilities, except for Ispra-1, were transferred to SOGIN at the end of 2003. Decommissioning of these facilities is primarily driven by waste management considerations, due to preliminary treatment activities, and mainly aim for safe storage.

Following Euratom’s decision to decommission obsolete nuclear installations, an agreement was signed on 27 November 2009 between the Italian Government and Euratom, whereby the Ispra-1 reactor was brought back under Italian- management for decommissioning.

In 2018, the Italian Government, with Law No. 205/2017, formally transferred to SOGIN the responsibility for the decommissioning of the Ispra-1 reactor and the ownership of the related authorization acts. SOGIN then started the cognitive activities for the definition of the different aspects inherent to the transfer of the plant, and on 26 September 2019 the deed of takeover was signed by SOGIN and JRC Ispra that finalized the transfer.

2.7.2. Fuel cycle

The spent fuel from historical nuclear power generation was reprocessed, starting in the early years of operation of Italy’s NPPs. In the mid-1990s, ENEL decided to terminate nuclear fuel reprocessing based on economic and technical evaluation and to proceed with interim dry storage of the remaining spent fuel for the light water cooled reactors. The fuel related to contracts already issued was sent to British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL, now Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, NDA) for reprocessing, with the last spent fuel transport to the Sellafield reprocessing plant performed in 2005. From mid-1990 to December 2004, the strategy was to store fuel elements in dual purpose (transport and storage) metallic casks in interim storage spaces on nuclear sites with the objective of moving them to the national repository for radioactive waste once it started operation. The storage would be continued there, waiting for final (geological) disposal.

In December 2004, MITE (at that time MAP) allowed SOGIN to evaluate alternative strategies, in particular to evaluate reprocessing of the spent fuel abroad.

In March 2006, MITE changed the national strategy for the spent fuel still stored in Italy from dry storage to reprocessing, except for the strategy regarding Elk River spent fuel, which remained unchanged.

As consequence of the change of strategy, in November 2006 the governments of Italy and France signed an intergovernmental agreement that facilitated signature of a contract by SOGIN and ORANO (formerly AREVA) in April 2007 for the transport and the reprocessing in France of the spent fuel stored in Italy, except the Elk River spent fuel.

The following activities have been performed in compliance with the intergovernmental agreement and the contract:

  • Delivery in France of all the spent fuel stored at Caorso and Trino NPPs;

  • Partial delivery of the spent fuel stored at the Deposito Avogadro facility.

In March 2006, to manage the Superphénix spent fuel quota that arose from ENEL participation in the NERSA consortium, MITE allowed SOGIN to consider the reprocessing of the SOGIN spent fuel quota.

In November 2007, the governments of Italy and France signed an intergovernmental agreement that let SOGIN and EDF sign, in April 2008, an operating protocol for the restitution of the plutonium made available by NERSA to SOGIN in relation to the reprocessing of the SOGIN spent fuel. The same day SOGIN and AREVA (now ORANO) signed a contract for the management of the aforementioned plutonium: the title of property of the plutonium was subsequently transferred by this contract to AREVA.

STORAGE OF SPENT FUEL ASSEMBLIES

Spent fuel
Type of storage
tonnes HM
Responsible
Light water cooled reactor
Wet
14.9
SOGIN S.p.A.

2.7.3. Waste management and disposal

The sources of radioactive waste in Italy include the power plants formerly operated by ENEL, the fuel cycle plants operated by Fabbricazioni Nucleari, research laboratories and experimental facilities, and non-energy applications (e.g. medical, industrial and other uses).

Criteria applicable to the classification, treatment and disposal of radioactive waste are set forth in Technical Guide No. 26, issued in May 1987 by the former Nuclear Safety Authority ENEA/DISP and in the Ministerial Decree of 7 August 2015. These rules allow near-surface disposal of conditioned VLLW and LLW and prescribe suitable long-term storage for ILW and HLW pending the availability of a geological repository for their disposal. Solid waste is treated (e.g. supercompaction, fusion, incineration) and suitably conditioned with mortar in cylindrical or prismatic steel containers. Liquid waste is homogeneously grouted with mortar in cylindrical containers. Before disposal, the resulting packages are suitable for above ground storage.

Part of the radioactive waste in Italy was produced during the operation of the nuclear installations connected to the national nuclear power programme. Another significant amount of waste will result from decommissioning activities, as well as from the return of ILW and HLW from reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel abroad.

In addition, some radioactive waste requiring management is annually produced by institutional activities like R&D, medical and industrial uses.

At present, almost all the waste generated by the operation of nuclear installations is stored on the same site where it was produced.

In February 2008, the Minister of Economic Development appointed a committee with representatives from ministries, regions, the former Nuclear Safety Authority ISPRA (now ISIN) and ENEA with a mandate to define the procedures for identifying suitable areas and for selecting a national site for hosting a national repository for radioactive waste. This committee issued a report in September 2008.

More recently, Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010 establishes the new procedure for the localization and construction of the National Repository for VLLW and LLW disposal and long term storage of ILW and HLW. The decree assigns SOGIN responsibility for the construction and operation of the repository as well as for selecting and proposing suitable areas for its localization, based upon criteria established by the IAEA and the Nuclear Safety Authority.

The steps to be taken in order to realize a national repository are described below, together with the time frames to perform each of them.

After the publication of the SOGIN proposal of a National Map of Potentially Suitable Areas (CNAPI) and the preliminary design of the repository, a period for public consultation is foreseen followed by a national workshop organized by SOGIN involving the national Government and local administrations of the potentially suitable areas.

Once the Map of the Suitable Areas (CNAI) is approved by the competent authorities, within 60 days SOGIN will invite the regions involved to express their interest to host the repository. Once at least one region shows interest, SOGIN will investigate the site extensively and within 15 months it will submit a siting proposal to the Minister of Ecological Transition. A one step licence is envisaged (i.e. the authorization is given for construction and operation).

In the event no region expresses interest, SOGIN will foster bilateral negotiations with the regions hosting suitable areas to find at least one candidate and submit to the Minister of Ecological Transition the list of candidate regions. If no agreement is reached with one of these regions, within 30 days an interinstitutional committee will be created, with the participation of representatives from different ministries and regions, having the task of reaching an agreement with one of the interested regions. In case of no agreement within 60 days, a Decree of the President of the Republic will force the achievement of an agreement with one of the interested regions.

While waiting for a national repository site to become available, the radioactive waste will continue to be stored in the nuclear installations of origin. Interventions are in progress to enhance the safety level of waste by implementing specific treatment and conditioning projects and by refurbishing existing buildings or utilizing authorized new interim storage facilities on-site, in order to ensure temporary storage capacity for waste resulting from preliminary decommissioning activities.

2.8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

2.8.1. Research and development organizations

Nuclear research is conducted by several agencies, institutions and universities. The leading agency for applied nuclear research is ENEA with its Research Centres (CRs) at Casaccia (Lazio), Bologna and Brasimone (Emilia Romagna).

Theoretical research in the nuclear field is performed mainly under the aegis of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) in its four main laboratories: Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro, Laboratori Nazionali del Sud and Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso.

In support of nuclear engineering programmes, the universities with degree programmes on the topic are the ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome, the University of Pisa, the Polytechnic University of Milan, the Polytechnic University of Turin and the University of Palermo.

Research and study of emerging technologies in the field of decommissioning and waste management is engaged in by SOGIN itself or in cooperation with universities and research centres.

In the framework of the Euratom Research and Training Programme, SOGIN is involved in collaborative research projects to support research on nuclear safety, waste management and decommissioning, to face challenges aligned with SOGIN’s decommissioning and dismantling (D&D) programme and to obtain mutual benefit by international scientific cooperation.

The Stakeholder-based Analysis of Research for Decommissioning (SHARE) project proposed by several European Union entities and companies, including SOGIN, was accepted by the European Commission and commenced in mid-June 2019. By the end of 2021, SHARE intends to provide an inclusive road map for research in technical and non-technical fields, enabling stakeholders to jointly improve safety, reduce costs and minimize environmental impact in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

In May 2020 SOGIN joined the MICADO (Measurement and Instrumentation for Cleaning And Decommissioning Operations) project, who started in June 2019, to develop a cost-effective solution for non-destructing characterization of nuclear waste, implementing a full digitization process applied to nuclear waste management and D&D operations.

SOGIN is partner of the European Union funded projects PREDIS (Predisposal Management of Radioactive Waste) and INNO4GRAPH (INNOvative tools FOR dismantling of GRAPHite moderated nuclear reactors), which started in September 2020, after the European Union’s acceptance of the proposals submitted under the call NFRP-2019-2020.

The PREDIS project targets innovation and breakthrough technologies for safer, more efficient, more economic and more environmentally friendly handling of ILW and LLW radioactive wastes. The focus is on conditioning of metallic materials, liquid organic wastes and solid organic wastes arising from nuclear plant operations, decommissioning and other industrial processes. The project also addresses digitalization solutions for improvements in handling and assessing cemented waste packages in extended interim surface storage.

The INNO4GRAPH project aims to develop physical and digital tools and methods to support the decommissioning of European graphite reactors.

In November 2020, the CLEANDEM proposal, which was submitted in September 2019 and placed on the reserve list, was accepted by the European Commission. The CLEANDEM (Cyber physicaL Equipment for unmAnned Nuclear DEcommissioning Measurements) project, which will start in March 2021, aims at significantly improving current processes involved at different steps of D&D operations.

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies

Some research activities, experiments and studies, mainly in connection with the universities and agencies listed in Section 2.8.1, are still conducted at the facilities equipped with research reactors, as shown in Table below.

RESEARCH REACTORS

Site
Power
Operator
Status
Palermo
20 W
University of Palermo
In operation
Roma (Casaccia)
1 MW
ENEA/TRIGA
In operation
Roma (Casaccia)
5 kW
ENEA/TAPIRO
In operation
Pavia
250 kW
University of Pavia
In operation

Source: IAEA Research Reactor Database.

2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives

In 2003, Italy and the Russian Federation signed a cooperation agreement for the dismantling of nuclear submarines and the management of radioactive waste, including spent nuclear fuel from nuclear submarines. The agreement follows the decisions taken by the G8 at the Kananaskis meeting held in Canada in 2002, where the Global Partnership was launched.

The cooperative agreement between Italy and the Russian Federation (envisaged fund availability: 360 million euros) is directed by a steering committee composed of members of Italy’s Ministry of Ecological Transition (former MISE) and Rosatom. In this context, SOGIN is responsible for general coordination and provides contributions in the execution of technical, administrative and management activities. Among the results achieved so far, it is important to point out the dismantling of six submarines, the provision of a special ship and a pontoon for the transfer of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, the supply of ten steel containers for storing alpha cores and the construction of two buildings for protecting large quantities of radioactive waste. Currently, the bid for a turnkey project for the treatment of liquid radioactive waste at the Andreeva Bay site is ongoing.

In December 2020, the European Commission funded project ‘Feasibility study and preparation for the implementation of an action plan concerning the safe and secure management/disposal of sunken radioactive objects in the Arctic Sea’ successfully came to a conclusion. SOGIN, leading a group of specialized companies and entities from Germany, the United Kingdom and Norway, successfully presented the outcomes of the project in an ad hoc workshop held in Moscow in the presence of Rosatom and other relevant Russian and international institutions (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EC, etc.).

Since 2018, SOGIN has been providing project management services and highly specialized technical assistance to JRC of the European Commission for the implementation of the programme for the dismantling and management of radioactive waste on the Ispra site (Varese). In particular, the pool of experts of SOGIN has been assisting the experts of the European Commission on highly specialized issues such as the dismantling of nuclear installations, nuclear waste management, nuclear safety and nuclear quality assurance. ?

Since 2015, SOGIN has been providing management and technical consulting services to the Slovakian state company JAVYS (Jadrová a vyradovacia spolocnost) for the dismantling of the V1 plant of the Bohunice nuclear power plant, with two pressurized VVER reactors 440-230. In particular, SOGIN has been supporting JAVYS in the management of the whole decommissioning programme.

The SOGIN Group, together with the major European players in the decommissioning and waste management sector, has been actively participating in projects financed under the European Union’s framework programme for research and innovation (Horizon 2020).

This participation enhances the role of the SOGIN Group in the international network of the sector and promotes the exchange and growth of know-how, also through the development of new prototype technologies.

In September 2019, the IAEA designated SOGIN as an IAEA Collaborating Centre, making Italy among the first countries to be recognized by the Agency as a partner for technological promotion, knowledge transfer, education and training in nuclear decommissioning. Since then, SOGIN has been providing its support to the IAEA, under the programme ‘Nuclear power, fuel cycle and nuclear science’.

SOGIN’s experts take active part in the governing bodies of the main relevant international organizations (Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/NEA), IAEA, etc.) and in the technical meetings, conferences and seminars organized therein.

In the framework of Generation IV (Gen-IV) nuclear fission, activities performed in Italy are related to the design and technological development of lead cooled fast reactors (LFRs). These activities are led by ENEA in synergy with the national industries, mainly Ansaldo Nucleare, and supported by the Interuniversity Consortium for Technological Nuclear Research (CIRTEN).

Presently, the R&D programme is supported by internal or private funds and European Union funds (Euratom, H2020). Therefore, readiness of LFR technology has moved forward significantly and is attracting a strong interest worldwide.

At the European level, ENEA, Ansaldo Nucleare and the Institute for Nuclear Research (ICN, Romania), with other supporting organizations, are collaborating on the Advanced Lead Fast Reactor European Demonstrator (ALFRED) programme, an undertaking presently representing the last step required for industrial deployment. Leveraging this, the project secured a firm commitment by the Government of Romania and the support of the Government of Italy. Owing to increased safety margins, robust design and scalable size, ALFRED is considered a candidate to bridge the gap between research and commercial deployment. Since the end of 2013, an international consortium fostering ALFRED construction (FALCON) has been developed, acting as the incubator of the initiative and a pole of attraction for partners interested in LFR technology, paving the way for the construction of the first Gen-IV LFR demonstrator in Romania.

Italy also participates in several international cooperation projects developed under the aegis of the EC, OECD/NEA and the IAEA. Two important research centres are JRC Ispra and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, operated with the IAEA.

SOGIN participates in the IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP-T13017) on the Management of Wastes Containing Long-lived Alpha Emitters. The three year project, started in December 2019, brings together research institutes in both developing and developed Member States to collaborate on research topics of common interest.

In the area of nuclear safety and environmental protection, bilateral agreements have been signed with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the United Kingdom Office for Nuclear Regulation, Spain’s Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) and France’s General Directorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (DGSNR).

Owing to the forthcoming shutdown of the Canadian National Research Universal (NRU) reactor and the contemporary stoppage of the authorization process of the MAPLE-1 reactor (Canada), a serious worldwide shortage of 99mTc, the central radiopharmaceutical product in nuclear medical diagnostics, is foreseen. Thus, ENEA recently started a project aimed at producing 99Mo (precursor of 99mTc) by neutron activation of a 98Mo target at the TRIGA research reactor operated at ENEA Casaccia Research Centre. An additional ENEA project aiming to demonstrate the production of 99Mo through 14 MeV neutrons was funded in 2019 by the Emilia Romagna Region.

Some noteworthy activities are in progress in the field of nuclear fusion, with Italian participation in international projects.

2.9. HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT

Current regulation establishes specific qualification requirements for the staff involved in the safe management of NPPs, research reactors, fuel reprocessing facilities and other relevant areas. These requirements are also applicable to radioactive waste and spent fuel management facilities which, as already noted, are operated under the licensing conditions of the main nuclear installations to which they belong.

Additionally, staff qualification for the performance of any safety related activity is among the relevant aspects assessed during the licensing process. Moreover, technical and operating staff undertake training on technical and legal issues according to the specific company policy of SOGIN, which founded in 2008 the Radwaste Management School (RMS) for high level professional training, promoting managerial and technological innovation based on experience and specialized know-how in the field of decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

The development of highly specialized know-how is part of the SOGIN strategy to guarantee maximum safety and implement an integrated knowledge management, education and training system. This is done in the light of transferring skills to future operators and satisfying the increasing knowledge demand in the sector at both international and national level.

The targets of the RMS are the following:

  • Train the employees of the SOGIN Group, with particular attention to safety and management of radioactive waste and nuclear fuel;

  • Promote, improve and extend best practices in nuclear safety culture, radiation protection and environmental safeguards;

  • Ensure integration, enhancement and sharing of the knowledge management system;

  • Enhance dialogue with universities and training centres;

  • Train the “operators of the future” in the disciplines related to decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

The training programmes of RMS guarantee the best standards of innovation, focusing on safety and security specific issues for decommissioning and radioactive waste management. Furthermore, in order to meet mandatory requirements under the international laws, syllabuses are continuously updated.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, RMS continued to carry out its mission. The courses have been redesigned to be suitable for delivery in a virtual classroom environment.

RMS is also recognized by the National Nuclear Safety Authority as a qualified organization to provide specific training courses for the personnel of SOGIN suppliers involved in nuclear decommissioning, safety maintenance and spent fuel and radioactive waste management.

RMS has been certified for the following standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):

• ISO 9001:2015, Quality Management Systems: Requirements [8];

• ISO 14001:2015, Environmental Management Systems: Requirements with Guidance for Use [9];

• ISO 45001:2018, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Requirements with Guidance for Use [10].

In Italy’s nuclear installations, including nuclear power plants and fuel cycle facilities, the rules governing the organization and the roles of the technical and operating staff to ensure safe management of the facility, during both ordinary and emergency conditions, are stated in specific documents — Regolamento di Esercizio (operating regulation) and Rapporto di Sicurezza (safety report) — as required by Italian law. These documents also cover the activities related to waste management. The dismantling operations are usually described in other sets of documents called Istanza di Disattivazione. According to those documents, only licensed personnel can work in spent fuel management facilities. In other installations, staff qualification requirements are established on a case by case basis.

ENEA also participates in the OECD/NEA Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology framework (NEST), supporting the training of younger generations through the transfer of practical experience.

2.10. STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT

The Government and each public agency support stakeholder communication processes through periodic meetings and continuous reporting activities.

For the decommissioning programme for NPPs, SOGIN, as the Government owned company responsible for the decommissioning of Italy’s NPPs and the management of radioactive waste, has adopted several communication tools, including the following:

• Annual publication of the Sustainability Report, one of the main transparency initiatives towards its stakeholders, making all social, economic and environmental information available.

• Through the RE.MO. (Monitoring Network) application, established in 2016 in compliance with the requirements of the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) environmental compatibility decrees, publication by SOGIN on its web site of data on environmental, conventional and radiological monitoring of nuclear plants, as well as information on the progress of decommissioning activities.

• Open Gate: in 2015, 2017 and 2019 SOGIN simultaneously opened the four NPPs under decommissioning to the public for two days. Over 9 000 people participated.

• Transparency Roundtables: a forum where decommissioning challenges are debated with local communities, represented by elected officials, local institutions, environmentalist associations and trade unions. They are organized by regional administrations.

• Multiple stakeholder activities (with schools, environmentalist associations, relevant professional associations, etc.).

• Other site visits.

2.11. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Every nuclear facility has an emergency plan, established by national legislation and coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior through local authorities and ISIN.

3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS

3.1. REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)

Italy’s regulatory system relating to nuclear and radiation safety is the result of an evolution of rules and standards that began in the early 1960s and which considers the experiences of licensing and operation of different types of NPP in addition to other nuclear installations. The system also covers the regulatory framework for the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. The main regulations are acts of Parliament, legislative decrees, and governmental or ministerial decrees that are binding in law. Technical positions and guides issued by ISIN (formerly ISPRA) are also considered.

The legislative and regulatory framework, established since the early 1960s, envisages a system of licensing of nuclear installations and activities as well as regulatory control. This system fully applies to spent fuel and radioactive waste management activities.

3.1.1.1. Nuclear Safety Authority

In the framework of the new nuclear power programme launched by the Government in 2008, Art. 29 of Act No. 99 of 23 July 2009 established the Nuclear Safety Agency (Agenzia per la Sicurezza Nucleare).

As a consequence of the abandonment of the new nuclear power programme, the Nuclear Safety Agency never went into effect and was abolished by Act No. 214 of 22 December 2011. Its functions and duties were absorbed by ISPRA, which continued its work as a nuclear regulatory authority, waiting for a definitive structure in the national regulatory organization.

Legislative Decree No. 45 of 2014, which transposes Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom of 19 July 2011 by establishing a community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste [11], also includes provisions for the establishment of a new competent regulatory authority (ISIN) fully dedicated to regulation and control in the nuclear field, with strengthened independence alongside human and financial resources. As provided by Legislative Decree No. 187 of 2017, ISIN was fully established and has been formally operating since 1 August 2018.

3.1.1.2. Prime Minister

Pursuant to Decree No. 230 of 1995 and Decree No. 241 of 2000, the Prime Minister is empowered to adopt basic decrees such as those laying down the application thresholds of Decree No. 230 of 1995, dose limits for workers and the public and reference dose levels in the case of nuclear emergencies.

Under the authority of the Prime Minister, the Department of Civil Protection is entrusted with a number of regulatory and administrative tasks in the fields of public protection and radiation emergencies, in conjunction with other competent ministries.

In the framework of licensing the national repository pursuant to Decree No. 31 of 2010, the Prime Minister is empowered to adopt a decree pushing the local authority involved to give its consent to the licence and, possibly, following a decision of the Council of Ministers attended by the president of the region involved, in substitution of the consent of the local authority.

Moreover, according to Legislative Decree No. 45 of 2014, the Prime Minister issued on 30 October 2019 (by his own decree) the National Programme for the Safe Management of Radioactive Waste, required by Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom [11]. The MISE and the MATTM (now MITE) are responsible for proposing and implementing the national programme.

3.1.1.3. Ministry of Ecological Transition

Competencies transferred from the Ministry of Economic Development

Act No. 1860 of 1962 on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy bestows upon the MISE the necessary powers to make regulations and issue the licences required in the nuclear field. The MISE is therefore the competent authority for matters relating to NPPs (Ch. II of Act No. 1860 of 1962). In addition, it authorizes the operation of installations for the production and use of nuclear energy for industrial purposes, as well as of plants for the processing and use of ores, source materials, special fissile materials, enriched uranium and radioactive materials (Art. 6 of Act No. 1860 of 1962).

In implementation of Legislative Decree No. 101 of 2020, the MISE, in agreement with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministries of Labour, Health and the Environment, issues decrees laying down the levels of radioactivity and other conditions for different activities involving ionizing radiation pursuant to which a licence is required. Such activities include the mining industry, commercial operations and utilization for industrial and research purposes. The MISE also issues the procedure for applying for a licence. In addition to authorizing the activities mentioned, the MISE also authorizes the transfer of radioactive substances within the European Union, the operation of radioactive waste disposal sites, and so on. The decree gives the licensing powers to the MISE for other activities such as the addition of radioactive materials to consumer goods, export and import of such goods and transfer of materials subject to Council Directive 2006/117/Euratom of 20 November 2006 on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel [12].

The MISE may also determine the amount and terms of financial security covering third party liability of the operator of a nuclear installation. It approves the general conditions of the insurance policy or other forms of financial security by decree, in agreement with the MEF and after consultations with the Attorney General (Arts 19, 21 and 22 of Act No. 1860 of 1962, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 519 of 10 May 1975).

In accordance with Act No. 58 of 28 April 2015, the MISE is also the competent authority for the physical passive protection of nuclear materials and installations and for the modalities for the drafting of physical protection plans, as defined by the successive decree of 8 September 2017, whose procedures also involve the Ministry of the Interior and the MATTM.

Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010, the MISE, in agreement with the MATTM, will authorize the publication of a national chart of the potentially eligible areas proposed by SOGIN (§ 2.7.3). Moreover, the MISE will attend a national seminar with other institutions involved, in order to discuss all technical aspects related to the national repository, including a potential technology park.

The MISE itself, with its own decree, in consultation with the MATTM and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, based upon the advice of ISIN, will adopt the national chart of eligible areas.

The MISE, based upon ISIN’s binding advice, and in consultation with the MATTM and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, as well as the Ministry of Education, University and Research for aspects related to research activities, will identify by ministerial decree a site suitable for the construction of the technology park.

The MISE, based upon ISIN’s binding advice, and in consultation with the MATTM and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, will grant the authorization for construction and operation of the national repository.

The MISE is to grant the authorization for final dismantling of the national repository in consultation with the MATTM, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and the Ministry of Health.

Finally, the MISE sets out strategic guidelines for decommissioning activities of SOGIN.

The import of ores, source materials and radioactive materials is subject to authorization by the MISE (the former Ministry of Foreign Trade was also incorporated into it) when such authorizations are required by financial and currency regulations. The MISE, together with the MEF, drafted rules for importing goods. These rules establish which goods require an import licence, including radioisotopes and ionizing radiation emitting equipment (Decree No. 101 of 2020 and Ministerial Decree of 30 October 1990 promulgating the list of goods requiring an import licence). Legislative Decree No. 89 of 24 February 1997 established the list of dual use goods subject to licensing, before its abrogation by Decree No. 96 of 2003, following the entry into force of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1334/2000 of 22 June 2000 setting up a community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology [13].

Competencies transferred from the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea

Act No. 349 of 8 July 1986 established the MATTM, which has since then been involved in decision making in collaboration with other competent ministries. Although the MATTM is not expressly given any functions in the nuclear field in Act No. 349 of 1986, Art. 2 provides, in general, that the MATTM will perform its functions with a view to ensure protection of the soil, air and water. Moreover, the MATTM, in agreement with the Ministry of Health, proposes to the President of the Council the maximum concentration limits and maximum exposure doses with respect to chemical, physical or biological contamination (Art. 2(14)). With regard to the establishment of limits governing the exposure of workers, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy must be consulted before the proposal is submitted to the Prime Minister. In addition, whenever construction of an installation capable of having an impact on the surrounding environment is being planned, the MATTM reports on the compatibility of the project with environmental protection requirements.

The MATTM assumed some of the responsibilities of the Ministry of Health, in particular, the monitoring of environmental radioactivity (Decree No. 101 of 2020). The MATTM is also competent to establish, in cooperation with other ministries concerned, the derived reference dose levels which correspond to the dose levels established by the Prime Minister in relation to the planning of emergency interventions. The MATTM must be consulted during the drafting of certain implementing decrees for Legislative Decree No. 101 of 2020, including those related to the scope of application, declaration of practices and dose limits.

Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010, the MATTM is closely involved in the process of siting, licensing, construction and operation of the national repository (see previous information for the MISE).

3.1.1.4. Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy is generally responsible for the radiation protection of workers engaged in nuclear activities (Decree No. 101 of 2020). In agreement with the other ministries concerned, it establishes rules governing radiation protection and monitors their application through the controls of health and safety inspectors and through the competent bodies of the national health service in each region. It also sets out rules governing the qualifications of experts and of authorized doctors.

Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy gives its advice on the authorization for the closure of the national repository together with the other ministries involved.

3.1.1.5. Ministry of Health

Responsibility for protecting public health against the hazards of ionizing radiation lies with the Ministry of Health, the national health service and ISIN. The aim of ISIN is to prevent, by inspections or otherwise, the possibility of radiation contamination of the population or of any part of the natural environment, foodstuffs and beverages (Decree No. 101 of 2020). Furthermore, the ministry submits proposals to the Prime Minister concerning dose limits for workers and for the public.

The Ministry of Health is also empowered to establish thresholds below which certain electrical equipment that emits radiation may be circulated. Furthermore, the ministry may carry out controls on foodstuffs and beverages.

The Higher Institute of Health (a support organization to the Ministry of Health) and the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (a support organization to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy) are consulted with regard to a number of ministerial decrees implementing Decree No. 101 of 2020 concerning, among other things, dose limits, reference dose levels for emergencies or official approval of certain radioactive sources.

A standing commission was created in the Ministry of Health with the essential task of preparing information for the public in the event of a nuclear emergency.

With regard to radiation protection during medical exposure, Decree No. 101 of 2020 entrusts the Ministry of Health with quasi-exclusive powers in relation to the training of personnel, criteria governing the authorization of radiological equipment, and justification of certain exposure, among other topics. Control over the implementation of the Decree is vested exclusively in the national health service.

Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010, the Ministry of Health gives its advice on the authorization of final dismantling of the national repository together with the other ministries involved.

3.1.1.6. Ministry of the Interior

In accordance with Decree No. 101 of 2020, the Ministry of the Interior, which is generally responsible for public security, assists in the drafting of regulations by other ministries in connection with the classification and licensing of commercial activities using nuclear and radioactive materials.

The same decree provides that each nuclear installation must have an off-site emergency plan to ensure protection of the public against the harmful effects of a nuclear accident. Such plans consist of a series of coordinated measures to be taken by those responsible in the event of an incident at a nuclear installation which might put public safety at risk. The Ministry of the Interior contributes to the establishment of the national radiological emergency plan, in conjunction with the Department of Civil Protection.

In addition, in accordance with Act No. 996 of 8 December 1970, the Ministry of the Interior and its services are responsible for taking the measures required to protect the public in the event of a potential catastrophe.

As the authority associated with the Ministry of the Interior in each region, the prefect is competent to grant a clearance certificate for the use of Category B radioactive substances, and for the appliances that contain them, in industry and research. The prefect is also responsible for preparing and updating the emergency plan in the province over which he or she has authority (except the medical aspects) and for its application as part of the national emergency plan.

Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010, the Ministry of the Interior gives its advice on the authorization of the closure of the national repository together with the other ministries involved.

3.1.1.7. Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, established by Act No. 537 of 24 December 1993, resulted from the merger of the Ministries of Transport and of the Merchant Navy. The duties carried out by these two ministries were transferred to the Ministry of Transport and Navigation (now Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport). Thus, this ministry is, at present, the competent authority, in conjunction with the MISE, to grant licences for the transport of nuclear and radioactive materials by road, rail, air and sea (Art. 5 of Act No. 1860 of 1962, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1704 of 1965). The ministry is also responsible for the adoption of regulations governing these different modes of transport (Art. 21 of Decree No. 230 of 1995).

Pursuant to Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is closely involved in the process of siting, licensing, construction and operation of the national repository (see previous information for the MISE).

3.1.1.8. Ministry of Education, University and Research

Public institutions possessing radioactive materials for teaching or scientific research are required to report them to the Ministry of Education, University and Research when the quantity of materials involved exceeds the prescribed levels. Pursuant to the amendments introduced by adoption of Decree No. 101 of 2020, practices involving the possession of such materials are also subject to prior notification. The Ministry is also involved in licensing the use of radioisotopes above certain quantities.

The Ministry is responsible for coordination at the national and international level of all measures to promote the development of scientific and technical research. It is consulted by the MITE in connection with ENEA research and development programmes and its scientific, technical and industrial cooperation with international or foreign organizations (Art. 1 of Legislative Decree No. 36 of 30 January 1999). The ministry is also involved in determining the radiation protection qualifications of personnel in radiology and nuclear medicine.

The ministry is also involved in the licensing process of the national repository owing to the research activities on decommissioning and management of radioactive waste that are to be implemented in the technology park hosting the national repository.

3.1.1.9. Ministry of Economy and Finance

The MEF is required to approve the general conditions of the financial security for the third party liability of nuclear operators when such security is not in the form of an insurance policy. Furthermore, notice of summons in respect of actions for compensation of nuclear damage is submitted to the ministry, which may, in all cases, intervene in the proceedings (Arts 22 and 25 of Act No. 1860 of 1962, as amended by Art. 2 of the Presidential Decree of 10 May 1975). The Ministry owns 100% of SOGIN shares.

3.1.1.10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation operates a network of offices throughout the world, in particular with permanent missions to the international organizations, ensuring that the international and European activities of Italy’s other ministries and government offices are consistent with the country’s international policy objectives.

The ministry is the main governmental office leading the process of ratification by Parliament of international conventions and agreements in the nuclear field, including: the Paris and Vienna Conventions for Third Party Liability, with related Amendment Protocols; the Convention on Nuclear Safety; the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency; the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident; and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.

The ministry is also consulted by the MISE in connection with the activities of ENEA in the field of international cooperation (Art. 1 of Legislative Decree No. 36 of 30 January 1999).

3.1.2. Licensing process

The licensing body is the MITE, based upon the cooperation of other competent ministries and the binding technical advice of ISIN, which is entrusted with the role of acting as the national regulatory authority and performing assessments and inspections of nuclear installations.

More recently, Legislative Decree No. 31 of 2010 establishes a new procedure for the localization and construction of a national repository for very low level waste and LLW disposal and long term storage of ILW and HLW. The decree assigns SOGIN responsibility for the construction and operation of the repository, as well as for selecting and proposing suitable areas for its localization based upon criteria established by the IAEA and the Nuclear Safety Authority.

3.2. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN NUCLEAR POWER

The system for licensing nuclear installations is governed by the following laws and regulations:

  1. Framework Act on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (No. 1860 of 31 December 1962) introduces a general regime based on a series of procedural requirements such as notifications and licences for nuclear installations and materials and regulates nuclear third party liability by implementing the provisions of the Paris and Brussels Conventions on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy. Amendments were subsequently made under which small quantities of special fissile materials, raw materials and other radioactive materials were no longer subject to such formalities (Act No. 1008 of 9 December 1969, Ministerial Decree of 15 December 1970).

  2. Legislative Decree No. 23 of 20 February 2009, on the implementation of Directive 2006/117/Euratom on the monitoring and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, which amended the relevant administrative provisions previously contained in Decree No. 230/95 (repealed by Decree No. 101/2020) on cross-border shipments of radioactive waste.

  3. Legislative Decree No. 31 of 15 February 2010, as amended by Legislative Decree No. 34 of 31 March 2011, converted into Act No. 75 of 2011, implementing the enabling provisions of Act No. 99 of 2009, establishes the siting process as well as the construction and operation process of a national repository and technological park to permanently accommodate low and intermediate level radioactive waste, and temporarily store HLW.

  4. Legislative Decree No. 185 of 19 October 2011, on the implementation of Directive 2009/71/Euratom, establishing a Community framework for the safety of nuclear installations.

  5. Legislative Decree No. 45 of 4 March 2014, which transposes EU Directive 2011/70/Euratom establishing a community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. Legislative Decree No. 45 of 2014 has modified and integrated, inter alia, Legislative Decree No. 230 of 1995 (repealed by Decree No. 101/2020).

  6. Act No. 58 of 28 April 2015, concerning ratification and implementation of the Amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials of 3 March 1980, adopted in Vienna on 8 July 2005, and rules for the adaptation of internal law.

  7. Decree of 7 August 2015 of the Minister of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea and the Minister of Economic Development on the classification of radioactive waste, pursuant to Art. 5 of Legislative Decree No. 45 of 4 March 2014, which establishes a new classification of radioactive waste, replacing the one in Technical Guide No. 26 of ISPRA (now ISIN).

  8. Act No. 153 of 28 July 2016, on the rules for countering terrorism, as well as ratification and execution of: (a) the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, in Warsaw on 16 May 2005; (b) the International Convention for the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorist Acts, in New York on September 14, 2005; (c) the Protocol of Amendment to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, in Strasbourg on 15 May 2003; (d) the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism, in Warsaw on 16 May 2005; and (e) the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, in Riga on 22 October 2015.

  9. Decree of 8 September 2017, concerning the requirements for physical passive protection and modalities for the drafting of physical protection plans.

  10. Legislative Decree No. 137 of 15 September 2017, on the implementation of Directive 2014/87/Euratom amending Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations.

  11. Act No. 40 of 8 May 2019, on the ratification and execution of the Settlement Agreement between the Government of the Italian Republic and the European Atomic Energy Community on the governing principles of radioactive waste management responsibilities of the site of the Joint Research Centre of Ispra, made in Brussels on 27 November 2009.

  12. Decree of 30 October 2019 of the President of Council of Ministers on the Definition of the National Programme for the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, required by Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom.

  13. Legislative Decree No. 101 of 31 July 2020, on the implementation of the Directive 2013/59/Euratom, which repealed Decree No. 230 of 1995.

Appendix 1

INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS

International cooperation is recognized to be fundamental in the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, and Italy’s regulatory authorities, nuclear power and waste management operators and research institutes maintain ongoing connections with international organizations, including the IAEA, OECD/NEA and the R&D framework programmes of the European Union. ISIN also actively participates in the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) and Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) initiatives for the harmonization of spent fuel and radioactive waste storage safety requirements.

Agreements with the IAEA
Amendments to Articles VI and XIV of the IAEA Statute
Not ratified

Agreement on privileges and immunities
Entered into force
20 Jun. 1985
Non-Proliferation Treaty related agreement
Entered into force
21 Feb. 1977
Additional protocol
Entered into force
30 Apr. 2004
Supplementary agreement on provision of technical assistance by the IAEA
Not applicable

Other relevant international treaties
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Entered into force
2 May 1975
Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
Entered into force
6 Oct. 1991
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
Entered into force
11 Mar. 1990
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
Entered into force
25 Nov. 1990
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
Not applicable

Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy
Entered into force
17 Sep. 1975
Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna and Paris Conventions
Entered into force
27 Apr. 1992
Protocol to amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
Signed
26 Jan. 1998
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage
Not signed

Convention on Nuclear Safety
Entered into force
14 Jul. 1998
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
Entered into force
9 May 2006
Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
Entered into force
8 May 2016
Improved procedures for designation of safeguards inspectors
Rejected, but agreed to special procedures

Euratom
Member

Zangger Committee
Member

Nuclear Export Guidelines
Adopted

Acceptance of NUSS Codes
Summary: National regulations are in conformity with revised codes. Codes are sound international safety standards which should be made obligatory in all states operating NPPs. Letter:
27 Dec. 1989
Nuclear Suppliers Group
Member

Establishment of CERN with 12 other European countries
Paris
Jul. 1953
Halden boiling water reactor project; Italian representative: ENEA

Jun. 1958
Joint European Torus Undertaking; Italian representatives: ENEA and CNR
Brussels
May 1978
ITER
The ITER Agreement was officially signed in Paris on 21 November 2006 by ministers from the seven ITER Members. The ITER Organization was officially established on 24 October 2007.
Oct. 2007

Appendix 2

MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES

Organization
Address and telephone
Web site
Email
Main activities
Presidency of the Council of the Ministers — Department of Civil Protection
Via Ulpiano, n. 11 00193 Rome
(+39) 0668201
www.protezionecivile.gov.it
segreteriacd@protezionecivile.it
Competent for regulatory and administrative tasks in the fields of public protection and radiation emergencies
Ministry of Ecological Transition — Department of Energy and Climate — DG for Energy Supply, Efficiency and Competitiveness
Via Veneto, 33 00187 Rome
(+39) 0647052531
www.mise.gov.it
dgaece.segreteria@mise.gov.it
Responsible for regulations and licences required in the nuclear field
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy — DG for Labour Relations and Industrial Relationships
Via Fornovo, 8 00192 Rome
(+39) 0646834200
www.lavoro.gov.it
DGRapportiLavoro@lavoro.gov.it
Responsible for the radiation protection of workers engaged in nuclear activities
Ministry of Health — DG for Health Prevention
Viale Giorgio Ribotta, 5
00144 Rome
(+39) 0659942878
www.salute.gov.it
segr.dgprev@sanita.it
Responsible for protecting public health against the hazards of ionizing radiation
Ministry of Ecological Transition — Department of Ecological Transition and Green Investments — DG for Waste and Pollution
Via Cristoforo Colombo, n. 44 00147 Roma
(+39) 0657228615
www.minambiente.it
CRESS(UDG@minambiente.it
Responsible for performing functions with a view to ensure protection of the soil, air and water
Ministry of the Interior — Department of Public Security

Piazza del Viminale, 1
00184 Rome
(+39) 0646521
www.interno.gov.it
dipps.uffammgen.ps@interno.it
Responsible for public security and for authorization of off-site emergency plan to ensure protection of the public against the harmful effects of a nuclear accident
Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport — Department for Transport, Navigation, General Affairs and Personnel
Via Giuseppe Caraci, 36
00157 Rome
(+39) 0641586672
www.mit.gov.it
dgmot.segr@mit.gov.it
Competent authority to grant licences for the transport of nuclear and radioactive materials by road, rail, air and sea
Ministry of Education, University and Research — DG for Coordination, Promotion and Enhancement of Research
Via Michele Carcani, 61
00153 Rome
(+39) 0697727131
www.miur.gov.it
DGRIC.segreteria@miur.it
Responsible for the coordination at the national and international level of all measures to promote the development of scientific and technical research
Ministry of Economy and Finance — General Accounting of the State

Via Venti Settembre, 97
00187 Rome
(+39) 0647611
www.rgs.mef.gov.it
salvatoresebastiano.vizzini@mef.gov.it
Responsible for approving the general conditions of the financial security for third party liability when different from an insurance policy
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation — DG for Political and Security Affairs

Piazzale della Farnesina, 1
00135 Rome
(+39) 0636912174
www.esteri.it
dgap.segreteria@esteri.it
Competent for leading the process of ratification by Parliament of acts of international conventions and agreements in the nuclear field
ISIN — National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection

Via Capitan Bavastro, 116
00154 Rome
www.isinucleare.it
isin-udg@isinucleare.it
Competent nuclear safety authority on the regulation and control of nuclear installations safety and radiation protection, independent in human and financial resources
SOGIN S.p.A.

Via Marsala, 51/c 00185 Rome
(+39) 06830401
www.sogin.it
info@sogin.it
Competent for decommissioning of NPPs and fuel cycle plants and relevant LLW/ILW disposal as well as temporary storage of HLW
ENEA — National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development

Lungotevere Thaon di Revel 76
00196 Rome
(+39) 0694005664

www.enea.it
fsn@enea.it
enea@cert.enea.it
Public research activity and technological innovation in the sector of energy and sustainable economic development, in synergy with national industries

REFERENCES

[1] MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, MINISTRY FOR ENVIRONMENT, LAND AND SEA PROTECTION, SEN 2017: Strategia Energetica Nazionale, MISE and MATTM, https://www.mise.gov.it/images/stories/documenti/Testo-integrale-SEN-2017.pdf (2017).

[2] INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, Key World Energy Statistics, IEA, Paris (2017)

[3] INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Italy 2016 Review, IEA, Paris (2016).

[4] Il nucleare in Italia, Professione Ingegnere 5 19/20 (1992).

[5] CUMO, M., TRIPPUTI, I., SPEZIA, U., Nuclear Plant Decommissioning: Technology, Cost Evaluation, Management, Regulation, Safety, Health and Environment Protection, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Rome (2002).

[6] OSSERVATORIO SULLA POLITICA ENERGETICA FONDAZIONE EINAUDI, Il decomissioning degli impianti nucleari e la sistemazione dei materiali radioattivi, Laboratori Opef (2008).

[7] GUIDI, G., Decommissioning degli impianti nucleari e gestione dei rifiuti radioattivi, Gangemi, Rome (2012).

[8] INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION, Quality Management Systems: Requirements, ISO 9001:2015, ISO, Geneva (2015).

[9] INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION, Environmental Management Systems: Requirements with Guidance for Use, ISO 14001:2015, ISO, Geneva (2015).

[10] INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Requirements with Guidance for Use, ISO 45001:2018 ISO, Geneva (2018).

[11] Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom of 19 July 2011 establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, Official Journal of the European Union L 199, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (2011).

[12] Council Directive 2006/117/Euratom of 20 November 2006 on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel, Official Journal of the European Union L 337, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg (2006).

[13] Council Regulation (EC) No. 1334/2000 of 22 June 2000 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology, Official Journal of the European Communities L 159, Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg (2000).

CNPP report coordinator
Institution
Address and telephone
Email
Mr. Mariano Giuseppe Cordone
Director of Division V, Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, Research and Management of Nuclear Materials and Waste
Ministry of Ecological Transition — Department of Energy and Climate — DG for Energy Supply, Efficiency and Competitiveness
Via Veneto, 33
00187 Rome
Italy
(+39) 0647052352
mariano.cordone@mise.gov.it


(1) https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=File:Natural_gas_prices_for_household_consumers,_second_half_2020_(EUR_per_kWh)_v1.png.

(2) https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electricity_price_statistics.

(3) https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/nrg_ind_id/default/table?lang=en (% of net imports in gross available energy, based on tonnes of oil equivalent).

(4) https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/nrg_ind_ren/default/table?lang=en (% of gross final energy consumption).

(5) https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=File:Share_of_energy_from_renewable_sources_in_gross_electricity_consumption,_2004-2019_(%25)-v2.PNG.

(6) https://www.irena.org/Statistics/View-Data-by-Topic/Capacity-and-Generation/Country-Rankings.

(7) ARERA, Relazione Annuale 2020 — https://www.arera.it/allegati/relaz_ann/20/RA20_volume1.pdf.  TERNA, Impianti di generazione 2019.

(8) TERNA, Produzione2019.

(9) Final electricity per capita (kW·h/capita), from EU Open Data Portal, 2021.