Italy’s Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin), which is responsible nuclear decommissioning, has started demolishing the screens of the steam generators (SGs) of the reactor building at the Latina NPP.
This activity represents a significant step in the decommissioning of the plant signalling the start of the dismantling of the reactor building.
The screens are the reinforced concrete structures that insulated the pipes from the outside upper connection between the SGs and the reactor building. Each screen is made up of two parts: a horizontal upper element, connected to the reactor building, of about 145 tons and a lower vertical one, leaving the boilers, of about 50 tons. The technique adopted by Sogin for their removal is controlled demolition and subsequent handling on the ground of the sectioned blocks, of about 2 tons each, with a tower crane specifically installed.
Subsequently, the individual blocks are transferred to an area equipped to separate the iron from the concrete. Sogin said this engineering solution guarantees maximum safety when carrying out the work and the least impact on the structures.
The works will end in January 2021 and will produce a total of around 1200 tons of material that, after the appropriate radiometric checks, will be removed from the site and sent for recovery.
The Latina nuclear power plant was the first to be built in Italy and belongs to the first generation of nuclear plants with a graphite gas reactor, GCR-Magnox. It was built by Eni in early 1958, and after five years, began to produce energy in May 1963, with an electric power of 210 MWe which made it Europe's largest nuclear power plant at that time. It was stopped in 1987 after the referendum which voted to phase out nuclear power in Italy and produced a total of 26 billion kWh of electricity.
Photo: Dismantling of boiler shields is underway at Latina (photo credit: Sogin)