‘This is the most complex activity’, state company says

The Garigliano nuclear power station before decommissioning work began. Courtesy Sogin.

Italy’s state-owned nuclear decommissioning company Sogin has launched a tender for the dismantling of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) and internals of the Garigliano nuclear power station in the south of the country.

Sogin said the tender, valued at about €36m ($39m), is for the segmentation and extraction of the components and the RPV, which are heavily contaminated, to take place under water, which provides shielding for workers.

Sogin said that with the dismantling of the vessel, which will end in 2027, it has entered the final phase of the decommissioning of Garigliano.

“This is the most complex activity from an engineering and operational point of view, which Italy will face for the first time,” Sogin said.

The radioactive waste produced during the dismantling of the RPV will be treated and placed in containers onsite pending their transfer to a planned national repository.

Garigliano had a single boiling water reactor unit with a net capacity of 150 MW. It began commercial operation in June 1964 and was permanently shut down in March 1982.

Magnox Tender Also Underway

Sogin also said it had begun the tender process to build a Magnox plant at the Latina nuclear power station in central Italy.

The facility will allow for the extraction and treatment of around 70 tonnes of radioactive Magnox alloy residues.

Latina had one 153 MW Magnox reactor which operated from 1964 until 1987. Construction of a second reactor, the experimental Cirene design, began at Latina in 1972, but it was not completed until 1988 and never operated.

Italy was a pioneer of nuclear power and had four commercial nuclear plants – Caorso, Enrico Fermi, Garigliano and Latina – providing almost 5% of the country’s electricity production share at their peak in 1986-1987.

Italy shut down the last of the plants, Caorso and Enrico Fermi, in July 1990 following a referendum in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Earlier this year Italy’s parliament backed a government plan to include nuclear in the country’s energy mix as part of its decarbonisation efforts.

A motion called on the country’s centre-right ruling coalition, led by prime minister Giorgia Meloni, to examine nuclear as part of the energy mix.

The Latina nuclear power station had a Magnox reactor which operated from 1964 until 1987.Courtesy Sogin.

Date: Friday, 04 August 2023
Original article: nucnet.org/news/sogin-launches-eur36-million-tender-for-underwater-dismantling-of-garigliano-rpv-8-4-2023