Italian waste cementation complex under construction

27 January 2017

The pouring of the concrete for the foundation plate marks a milestone in the construction of the Cemex cementation facility for liquid radioactive waste produced at Italy's Eurex pilot reprocessing facility.

Cemex construction starts - 460 (Sogin)
Pouring concrete for the Cemex complex's foundation (Image: Sogin)

The Eurex pilot reprocessing facility, located at Saluggia in northern Italy, began operating in 1970 and was shut down in 1984. Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin), the Italian state-owned company responsible for dismantling the country's nuclear power facilities, took over management of the plant in 2003.

Sogin announced on 24 January that the first concrete had been poured for the Cemex complex. This facility will include a waste cementation plant; a storage building for high-level cemented waste; and, a storage building for intermediate-level wastes. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport published a consent decree for the creation of the Cemex complex in 2013 and work began on its construction in July 2015.

The Cemex facility will cement and condition some 260 cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste at Eurex. Once processed, these wastes will be stored in a temporary repository before their subsequent transfer to the planned national waste repository.

About 1400 cubic meters of solid waste at Eurex is currently stored in a temporary repository built in the 1970s. A further 1200 cubic meters of waste is stored in other existing areas of the plant. Fuel, originally stored in a pool at Eurex, was transferred in 2007 to the nearby Avogadro fuel storage facility.

Decommissioning activities at Eurex are scheduled to end between 2028 and 2032.

Italy operated a total of four nuclear power plants starting in the early 1960s but decided to phase out nuclear power in a referendum that followed the 1986 Chernobyl accident. It closed its last two operating plants, Caorso and Trino Vercellese, in 1990. Sogin was established in 1999 to take responsibility for decommissioning Italy's former nuclear power sites and locating a national waste store.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News