Italy’s Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin) announced on 24 January that the first concrete had been poured for its Cemex cementation facility for liquid radioactive waste produced at Italy's Eurex pilot reprocessing facility.
The Eurex plant at Saluggia in northern Italy began operating in 1970 and was shut down in 1984. Sogin, the state-owned company responsible for dismantling Italy’s nuclear power facilities, took over management of the plant in 2003.
Italy operated four nuclear plants from 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 the reactor sites and locating a national waste store.
Cemex 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. It will cement and condition some 260 cubic metres of liquid radioactive waste from Eurex. The wastes will be stored in a temporary repository before their subsequent transfer to the planned national waste repository. Some 1400 cubic metres of solid waste at Eurex is currently stored in a temporary repository built in the 1970s. A further 1200 cubic metres of waste is stored at other 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.