IAEA Mission Assesses Italy's Decommissioning Readiness

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection mission to Italy concluded on June 29 with indications that the country has made significant progress in preparing for future dismantling and decommissioning of two nuclear power plants.

IAEA Mission in ItalyThe IAEA inspection team -- called an Integrated Review for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation mission -- also noted areas for potential improvement.

The team said Italy's state-owned company Sogin, which is in charge of nuclear power decommissioning in Italy, is planning for dismantling in a "systematic and prudent manner ... taking into account relevant international experience(s)."Sogin has also carried out appropriate safety assessments of the preparatory work for dismantling operations," and has conducted effective evaluations of technial approaches for "dismantling and removing PRVs and RVIs."

The IAEA called Italy "a pioneer in nuclear power," that built and commissioned four nuclear power plants in the 1960s and 1970s, then backed away from the nuclear power option after the Chernobyl accident in 1986.

Now, with dismantling and decommissioning around the corner, the mission noted improvements Sogin "should consider," including making provisions for unexpected situations, the possibility of alternative cutting techniques and greater use of 3D modeling "to enhance planning and execution," of upcoming projects.

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