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Nuclear Power in Italy

(Updated November 2014)

  • Italy has had four operating nuclear power reactors but shut the last two down following the Chernobyl accident.
  • Almost 10% of its electricity is now from nuclear power – all imported.
  • The government intended to have 25% of electricity supplied by nuclear power by 2030, but this prospect was rejected at a referendum in June 2011.

Italy is the only G8 country without its own nuclear power plants, having closed its last reactors in 1990. In 2008, government policy towards nuclear changed and a substantial new nuclear build program was planned. However, in a June 2011 referendum the 2009 legislation setting up arrangements to generate 25% of the country's electricity from nuclear power by 2030 was rejected.

In 2013, gross electricity generation in Italy was 288 billion kWh. Of this, 110 billion kWh was from gas-fired generation; 50 billion kWh from coal; 18 billion kWh from oil; 53 billion kWh hydro, 22 billion kWh from solar and 15 billion kWh from wind. Net imports were 42 TWh, mostly from France and Switzerland. Per capita electricity consumption in 2012 was 4900 kWh.

Italy relies heavily on imports and is the world's largest net importer of electricity. In the first half of 2014 domestic production was 132 TWh and net imports 22.3 TWh to meet demand of 153 TWh, slightly lower than in 2013. This net import level is typical of the last decade. So about 15% of demand is accounted for by net imports – much of it from French nuclear power stationsb. This is equivalent to output from about 6 GWe of base-load capacity.

Installed capacity at the end of 2011 was 118 GWe. Nearly all increases in capacity since the mid-1990s are from new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants, supplemented in recent years by solar and wind. Wind generation is also increasing rapidly and accounted for 5.8% (7 GWe) of installed capacity in 2011 c. Wind capacity is expected to reach 9.6 GWe by the end of 2013. The government plans 12.68 GWe producing 20 billion kWh/yr from wind by 2020.

Italy's phase-out of nuclear energy following a 1987 referendum has led to major costs to the whole economy. Due to the high reliance on oil and gas, as well as imports, Italy's electricity prices are well above the European Union average. In 2008, the price averaged 20.9 Euro cents/kWh for households, over 9 cents more than in France. The Minister of Economic Development in October 2008 put the figure for the "terrible mistake" of the nuclear phase-out at some €50 billion2.

Italy's multinational utility Eneld is responsible for much of the country's electricity production. Over the next decade, Enel planned to build 6400 MWe of net nuclear capacity in partnership with France's EDF3.

As elsewhere in Europe, Italy is cutting back subsidies for renewable energy, notably wind and solar. Enel Green Power said it had sold 82% of 2014 Italian generation at €88-89/MWh, comprising €63 as base price and the balance as green certificate subsidy. This compared with €91 in 2013.

In mid-2014 the Economic Development Ministry signed into law a new capacity mechanism, with annual auctions to ensure secure capacity provision from 2018. This replaces a 2004 provision and takes into account the need to compensate for intermittency of renewables. It will improve revenue for CCGT and open cycle gas turbine plants which have been impacted by priority access for wind and solar and are now running at around 1500 hours per year (17% capacity). The first auction will be in 2015 for 2018-21 delivery. Capacity payments will be complemented by contracts for difference (CfD) which cap the price in peak periods. The CfD strike price will be based on the cost of an efficient peaking plant.

Nuclear industry development

Italy was a pioneer of civil nuclear power and in 1946 established the first scientific body to pursue thise. In 1952, it established the National Committee for Nuclear Research (CNRN) to develop and promote nuclear power, and this was reorganized in 1960 to become the National Committee for Nuclear Energy (CNEN, now the ENEA)f.

Construction of the first civil reactor – a British Magnox gas-cooled reactor – began in 1958 at Latina, and the following year construction of the first General Electric (GE) boiling water reactor (BWR) commenced at Garigliano. Construction of a Westinghouse pressurized water reactor (PWR) started in 1961 at Trino Vercellese, also known as the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Power Plant. These units were ordered by different companies, before Enel was established during the 1962 nationalization of the electricity sector. Latina was transferred to Enel in 1964, and the Garigliano and Trino units in 1966.

In 1966, Enel announced an ambitious program of nuclear plant construction, aiming for 12,000 MWe by 1980. The following year, Enel decided to proceed with the country's fourth nuclear power station. In 1969, after receiving bids for more advanced versions of the existing three technologies, Enel ordered an 850 MWe BWR from a GE/Ansaldo partnership. The Caorso site, located near the town of Piacenza in the Emilia-Romagna region, was chosen and the contract signed in March 1970. Construction began later that year and first power was in May 1978. It was the last nuclear power reactor in Italy to start up.

Meanwhile, in 1967, CNEN and Enel started developing an Italian version of the Candu reactor, with heavy water moderation but light water cooling, called CIRENEg. In 1972, an order was placed with Ansaldo to build a 40 MWe prototype at the Latina site, but this was not finished until 1988 due to technical problems. It was never operated.

Italy pursued fast breeder reactor (FBR) development in partnership with France and Germany. In 1974, Enel acquired a 33% stake in the ESK consortium to build the 1500 MWe SNR-2,h and a 33% stake in the EDF-led NERSA consortiumi, which was to build the 1200 MWe Superphénix fast breeder reactor at Creys-Malville in France.

Anti-nuclear sentiment grew during the 1970s, although the nuclear industry continued to receive support from the national governmentj.

In the early 1980s, steps were taken to develop a standardized design. An energy plan adopted in October 1981 called for three new plants of 2x1000 MWe each at Piedmont (the Trino site), Lombardy and Puglia. The reference design of these reactors would be based on Westinghouse PWR technology and developed within the Unified Nuclear Project (Progetto Unificato Nucleare, PUN). Alongside this project, Enel continued with plans to build two 982 MWe BWR units at the Montalto di Castro site. Construction commenced in 1982, but the project was delayed as a result of local opposition.

A new energy plan was adopted by parliament in March 1986 – one month before the accident at Chernobyl – that called for further increases in nuclear capacity. The Chernobyl accident prompted further debate on nuclear power and, in 1987, a National Conference on Energy looked again at the nuclear program. Although the conference was generally in favour of continuing with the nuclear program, following a referendum in November 1987, the government decided to terminate the program.

In December 1987, Latina was closed and work on the first of the six PUN reactors at the Trino site was halted. Later, the government decided to convert the Montalto di Castro plant (which was almost complete) to a conventional power station and, in July 1990, the decision was taken to finally shut down the two remaining operational reactors (Caorso and Trino Vercellese). ENEA (formerly CNEN) also closed various fuel cycle facilities. From 1988, the national energy plan allowed no nuclear power initiatives except research into "intrinsically safe" reactors.

In 1999, Sogin (Società Gestione Impianti Nucleari, Nuclear Plant Management Company) was set up as a state-owned enterprise to take over Enel's and ENEA's nuclear assets and be responsible for decommissioning them. It was also to take responsibility for all nuclear wastes.

Italy's former nuclear power reactors

Reactor Model Net MWe First power Shutdown
Latina GCR 153k 05/1963 12/1987
Garigliano BWR 150 01/1964 03/1982
Enrico Fermi
(Trino Vercellese)
PWR 260 10/1964 07/1990
Caorso BWR 860 05/1978 07/1990
Montalto di Castro
(Alto Lazio) 1 & 2
BWR 982 each Cancelled -
Total operated (4)   1423 MWe  

Prospect of nuclear revival

In 2004, a new energy law opened up the possibility of joint ventures with foreign companies in relation to nuclear power plants and importing electricity from them. In May 2008, the new pro-nuclear Italian government confirmed that it would commence building new nuclear power plants within five years, to reduce the country's great dependence on oil, gas and imported power. The government introduced a package of nuclear legislation, including measures to set up a national nuclear research and development entity, to expedite licensing of new reactors at existing nuclear power plant sites, and to facilitate licensing of new reactor sites. The comprehensive economic development legislation finally passed in July 2009 makes nuclear power a key component of energy policy with a view to having 25% of electricity generated by nuclear power by 2030.

In January 2010, provisions for public consultation had been announced, and the draft decree set out financial benefits for cities and regions which host power plants: €3000/MW/yr during construction and 40 Euro cents/MWh in operation. Further legislation in February 2010 set out a framework for siting nuclear power plants which is to involve local government. For nuclear power plants and fuel cycle facilities, a so-called 'unique authorisation' would be required for building, as well as an environmental permit. Laws in three regions (Puglia, Campania and Basilicata) banning the construction of new nuclear plants were overturned by the Constitutional Court in November 2010.

In January 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that Italy could hold a referendum on the planned re-introduction of nuclear power, as proposed by an opposition party4. The question posed in the referendum, held in mid-June, was whether voters want to cancel some 70 legislative and regulatory measures which had been taken by the government over three years to make it possible to build new nuclear power plants. It would not affect plans for a waste repository. In November 2010 the Constitutional Court had struck down a bid by three regions to ban nuclear plants from their territory due to strong public opposition. Although immediately following the Fukushima accident, the government had declared a one-year delay on nuclear plans, the referendum strongly rejected all of the four initiatives promoted by Mr Berlusconi. This included the 2009 legislation setting up arrangements to generate 25% of the country's electricity from nuclear power by 2030.

Utility moves

Following on from a May 2005 memorandum of understanding 2005, Electricité de France (EDF) and Enel signed an agreement in November 2007 that gave Enel a 12.5% share (some 200 MWe) from the Flamanville 3 EPR nuclear reactor (1650 MWe) currently under construction in France, and an option for the same stake in the next five such units builtl, 5. Enel would also be involved in design, construction and operation of the plants, thereby helping to rebuild Italy's nuclear skills and competence. The expected investment in the construction of Enel's share of Flamanville 3 was approximately €500 million, and Enel would also be responsible for its share of operation costs.

The agreement also gave EDF an option to participate in construction and operation of future Enel nuclear power plants in Italy or elsewhere in Europe and the Mediterranean. To this end, in August 2009, EDF and Enel set up a 50:50 joint venture company, Sviluppo Nucleare Italia (SNI, Developing Italian Nuclear)6, to conduct feasibility studies on building at least four 1650 MWe Areva EPR units. Enel expected the first site to be licensed in 2011, a construction and operating licence to be issued in 2013, construction start in 2015, and operation of the first unit in 2020. Electricity from the nuclear plants is expected to be about 30% cheaper than current supplies. However all this became moot following the mid 2011 referendum which rejected nuclear revival for Italy. Then, after the cost estimate for Flamanville blew out to EUR 8.5 billion, Enel in December 2012 pulled out of that project and the partnership with EdF and will be reimbursed EUR 613 million that it has contributed, including accrued interest. Enel said it would pursue it commercial business in France by other means.

In September 2009, a nuclear cooperation agreement with the USA cleared the way for using US nuclear technology in Italy alongside the planned EPRs.

As well as its participation in new build in France, Enel is playing an active role in other countries. In 2004, it bought 66% of Slovakia's Slovenske Electrarne (SE) with its four VVER 440/V213 Bohunice and Mochovce reactors there. Enel's subsequent investment plan included the completion of Mochovce units 3 & 4 – 942 MWe gross – by 2011-12 (see section on New nuclear capacity in the information page on Nuclear Power in Slovakia).

In February 2009, Enel bought 25% of Spain’s Endesa power producer for €11 billion, taking its ownership to 92%. Endesa has equity in most of Spain's nuclear reactors: 100% of Ascó 1; 85% of Ascó 2; 72% of Vandellós 2; 36% of the two Almaraz units; and 50% of Garoñam.

In April 2010, Enel signed a wide-ranging agreement with Russia's Inter RAO UES which positioned it to take up to a 49% share in Rosenergoatom's new 2340 MWe Baltic nuclear power plant being built in Kaliningrad7. This will be the first Russian nuclear plant with private or international equity, and Inter RAO intends to export about two-thirds of the power to Germany, Poland and the Baltic states.

Fuel cycle

In 1973, Italy was one of the original members of the Eurodif consortium, which built the large Georges Besse diffusion enrichment plant at the Tricastin site in France. Eni subsidiary Agip Nuclearen and CNEN were in charge of nuclear fuel.

In 1967, General Electric (GE) and Ansaldo Meccanico Nucleareo founded the FN (Fabbricazioni Nucleari, Nuclear Manufacturing) joint venture. FN manufactured fuel for the Caorso and Garigliano plants, as well as the Leibstadt reactor in Switzerland and the Superphénix reactor at Creys-Malville in France, at its plant in Bosco Marengo from 1973 to 1995. Agip Nucleare began participating in FN from 1973, and in 1985 it acquired a majority stake.  ENEA (formerly CNEN) took over as majority shareholder in 1989 and in 1995 decided not to pursue nuclear fuel manufacture.

Magnox fuel was made at the Combustibili Nuclearip Magnox Fuel Fabrication Plant located in Rotondella in southern Italy, which started up in 1960 and closed in 1987.

The Ipu pilot mixed oxide fuel plant at the Casaccia Research Centre near Rome commenced operations in 1968 ceased activities in the early 1980s.

Italy was also involved in reprocessing activities. CNEN's Eurex (Enriched Uranium Extraction) pilot plant at the Saluggia Research Centre started up in 1970 and ran until 1983. There was also the Fuel Element Processing and Refabrication Plant (ITREC, Impianto di Trattamento e Rifabbricazione Elementi di Combustibile), a pilot reprocessing plant for uranium-thorium used fuel, in the Trisaia di Rotondella Research Centre. Italy also participated in the Eurochemic reprocessing plant at Dessel in Belgium, which operated from 1966 to 1974.

Radioactive waste management & decommissioning

Sogin (Società Gestione Impianti Nucleari, Nuclear Plant Management Company) is responsible for nuclear and radioactive wastes, and reactor and fuel cycle decommissioning.

When the government decided to finally end the country's nuclear power program in 1990, a deferred decommissioning (or 'Safstor') strategy was adopted. However, in 1999, the government changed to an accelerated decommissioning strategy. This strategy envisaged all decommissioning of nuclear facilities by 2020, subject to the availability of a low- and intermediate-level waste repository that can also be used for temporary storage of high-level wastes. In 2004, the deadline for decommissioning was put back to 2024, with the option of reprocessing allowed8.

Decommissioning of the nuclear island of the 270 MWe Trino Vercellese nuclear power plant is under way from 2012. In 2024 the site is to be released for new development as greenfield site at a total cost of €234 million.  

Nuclear fuel reprocessing had been terminated in the mid-1990s by Enel, and used fuel from light water reactors was moved to dry cask storage. In November 2006, a bilateral French-Italian agreement cleared the way for Sogin to sign a contract with Areva for reprocessing 235 tonnes of used fuel.  It is being shipped to La Hague between 2007 and 2015 and the wastes are to be returned after 2020.  Latina's Magnox used fuel – about 1400 tonnes in total – has been reprocessed in the UK at Sellafield.

Sogin's plan for decommissioning will see the former fuel fabrication plant at Bosco Marengo becoming the first facility to be safely decommissioned, in 2010. The first nuclear power plant to be decommissioned will be Trino, expected in 2013.

Decommissioning is funded by a levy on electricity sales which is set annually by the National Authority for the Electricity and Gas according to Sogin’s program of activities. The total cost of this was estimated at €4 billion in 2004, not including high-level waste disposal costs.

A national repository for wastes is envisaged, but previous attempts to identify a site have failedq.

Research and development

The leading agency for applied nuclear research is ENEAr. While most R&D is focused on decommissioning and wastes, basic research has continued in order to maintain the nuclear option. ENEA has several research centres around the country involved in nuclear fission and fusion research. Its Ispra site was handed over to Euratom as a Joint Research Centre (JRC) site in 1960s.

The country's first research reactor, at the Politecnico di Milanot achieved initial criticality in November 1959. Several research reactors are still operating, including two Triga Mark II units – the University of Pavia's 250 kWt LENA reactor (operating since 1965) and the 1 MWt Triga RC-1 (operating since 1960) at ENEA's Casaccia Research Centre near Rome.

Ansaldo Nucleare is also involved with international R&D on new reactor systems. These include IRIS (with Westinghouse), Euratom projects, and a Generation IV lead-cooled fast reactor design, the 600 MWe ELSY (European Lead-cooled System)u.

Regulation and safety

In 1964, the National Committee for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) was confirmed as the regulatory body for Italy's nuclear power, using safety criteria from the UK and USA. When the CNEN was reorganized into the ENEA, the regulatory functions were incorporated into the ENEA's Nuclear Safety and Health Protection Directorate (ENEA-DISP) as an independent regulatory body. This then became the National Environmental Protection Agency (ANPA) in 1994, then, in 2002, the Agency for Environmental Protection & Technical Services (APAT), as the regulatory body in charge of safety and licensing. This in turn became the nuclear department of the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, ISPRA) in 2008.

Under the July 2009 legislation dealing with new nuclear build in Italy, the new Nuclear Safety Agency (ASN, Agenzia per la Sicurezza Nucleare) was established as the new regulator, with staff drawn from ISPRA and ENEA. The government intended to have ASN work closely with its French counterpart, also ASN (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire).

Public opinion

A public opinion poll in July 2008 (N=800) found that 54% supported nuclear power in Italy while 36% opposed it (compared with 82% opposition in 2007). The poll also found that 83% were opposed to Italy building new nuclear power plants for itself in neighbouring countries, while 11% thought it was a good idea9.

However, a 2010 Eurobarometer report found that 62% of Italians said that the share of nuclear in the energy mix should be either maintained or reduced, while only 20% said it should be increased10.

Non-proliferation

Italy is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1975 as a non-nuclear weapons state. It is a member of both Euratom and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. In 1998, it signed the Additional Protocol in relation to its safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Further Information

Notes

b. More than half of Italy's imported electricity comes immediately from Switzerland (25.6 TWh in 2011), which imports much of it – 21.5 TWh of net imports (i.e. imports minus exports) in 2008 – from France and Germany. Italy imported 14.3 TWh directly from France (and exported 1.0 TWh to France) in 2011. [Back]

c. In 2008, wind generated 4.9 billion kWh, about 1.6% of total generation in that year. By the end of 2009, Italy had 4.85 GWe of installed wind capacity, making it the country with the third largest installed wind capacity in the European Union1. [Back]

d. Enel (Ente Nazionale per l'Energia Elettrica, the National Agency for Electric Energy) was established in 1962 with the nationalization of Italy's electricity industry. In 1992, it became a joint stock company, and in 1999, 40% of its shares went public. Generating subsidiaries were also formed and sold off with the aim of limiting Enel's share of the market to 50%. By the end of 2009, the only shareholders with more than a 2% stake in Enel were the Ministry for the Economy and Finance (13.88%), its subsidiary Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (17.36%), and Blackrock Inc (3.02%). [Back]

e. CISE (Centro Informazioni, Studi ed Esperienze, Centre for Information, Research and Experiments) was founded in November 1946 in Milan. [Back]

f. The National Committee for Nuclear Research (Comitato Nazionale per le Ricerche Nucleari, CNRN) was reorganized in 1960 to become the National Committee for Nuclear Energy (Comitato Nazionale per l'Energia Nucleare, CNEN). In 1982, this was again reorganized to become the the National Institute for Research and Development of Nuclear and Alternative Energy (Ente Nazionale per la Ricerca e lo Sviluppo dell'Energia Nucleare e delle Energie Alternative, ENEA). In September 2009, ENEA became the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile), retaining the ENEA acronym. The law establishing this new ENEA agency provides that nuclear energy research is a primary function of ENEA. [Back]

g. The CIRENE project was initiated by CISE (see Note e above) in 1957. CIRENE is an acronym for CISE Reattore a Nebbia (CISE Mist Reactor). [Back]

h. In 1973, EDF, Enel and RWE (later replaced by SBK) entered into a cooperation agreement that provided for the construction of the Superphénix and SNR-2 FBRs. This agreement led to the founding of ESK (Europäische Schnellbrüter Kernkraftwerksgesellschaft, European Fast Breeder Nuclear Power Company) in 1974.

SBK (Schnell-Brüter-Kernkraftwerksgesellschaft, Fast Breeder Nuclear Power Company) was itself a consortium established in 1972 by the German, Belgian and Dutch electricity utilities RWE, Synatom (later Electrabel) and the Dutch utility group SEP. In 1973, SBK was joined by the UK's Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB). SBK's SNR-300 prototype breeder reactor was built between 1973 and 1985 at Kalkar, in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia. Though completed, the SNR-300 was shut down before it began electricity generation. The design for the SNR-2, along with that of Superphénix 2 and the UK's CDFR (Commercial Demonstration Fast Breeder), was eventually subsumed into the European Fast Reactor (EFR) project, which commenced in 1988. [Back]

i. Enel took a 33% stake in NERSA (Centrale Nucléaire Européenne à Neutrons Rapides SA) in 1974. Construction on NERSA's 1200 MWe Superphénix project commenced in late 1976 and first power was in 1986. Its operation was characterized by technical problems and public opposition, and it was closed in 1998 (although it had stopped generating electricity in 1996). In July 1998, Enel sold its stake in NERSA but retained responsibility for decommissioning its share of the nuclear fuel in the plant. [Back]

j. Although the nuclear industry enjoyed a fairly high level of cross-party support, it often faced considerable opposition at local government level. Even the site of first nuclear plant to be ordered had to be changed – from Moneglia near Genoa to the Enrico Fermi/Trino Vercellese site – due to local opposition. The fourth unit at Caorso, ordered in 1969, also experienced some local opposition, but this was resolved. At the end of 1973, Enel ordered two new units at new sites in the Molise region and in Upper Lazio, and orders for twin units at those sites followed in 1974. By this time, local opposition was more intense, and Enel was forced to relocate the two units planned for Molise to Lombardy and Piedmont, where the local governments also put up strong opposition. For the other two units planned for Lazio, although the regional government offered Enel the Pian dei Cangani site near Montalto di Castro, opposition from the local people resulted in delays to the project. [Back]

k. Latina was originally rated at 200 MWe but was derated in 1969 due to a requirement to operate at lower coolant temperatures. [Back]

l. Early in 2007, EDF had backed away from its agreement with Enel and said it would build Flamanville 3 on its own and take all the output. However, in November 2007, EDF signed the agreement in line with the terms of the original Memorandum of Understanding. [Back]

m. Nuclenor, which is 50% owned by Endesa (and 50% by Iberdrola), owns the 446 MWe Garoña BWR and also 2% of the 1003 MWe Trillo PWR. [Back]

n. Agip Nucleare was established in 1956 as a division of Eni (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi, National Hydrocarbons Agency). Eni was created in 1953 as a state-owned holding company that integrated all of Italy's activities in the hydrocarbons sector. Another Eni company, Simea (Società Italiana Meridionale per l'Energia Atomica, Italian Society of Southern Atomic Energy), which was 75%-owned through Agip Nucleare and 25% held by state-owned IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale, Institute for Industrial Reconstruction), built the country's first nuclear plant at Latina.

The establishment of Enel (see Note d above) led to the transferral of Eni's nuclear power activities to Enel, with uranium mining and sourcing left to Agip Nucleare. [Back]

o. Engineering company Ansaldo was acquired by state-owned IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale, Institute for Industrial Reconstruction) in 1935. IRI established mechanical industry subholding Finmeccanica in 1948 and transferred Ansaldo to it. As part of restructuring of Ansaldo in 1966, the Ansaldo Meccanico Nucleare (AMN, Ansaldo Nuclear Engineering) subsidiary was founded. In 1981, AMN changed its name to Ansaldo Impianti (Ansaldo Plants), and in 1989, to Ansaldo Nucleare, which is fully owned by Ansaldo Energia within the Finmeccanica Group. Finmeccanica was privatized in 1993 and, at the end of 2009, 30.2% of its shares were state-owned via the Ministry for the Economy and Finance and a further 0.2% held by the Treasury. [Back]

p. Combustibili Nuclearia was a joint company formed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and uranium mining company Somiren (Società Minerali Radioattivi Energia Nucleare), which was formed within Eni's Agip Nucleare subsidiary (see Note n above) in 1956. [Back]

q. The decision to accelerate the decommissioning program led to a rushed decision at the end of 2003 to site a nuclear waste repository at Scanzano Jonico in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. On 13 November, the government passed an emergency decree that named a salt deposit in Scanzano Jonico as a national repository for the country's low-and intermediate-level radioactive waste, with operation beginning in 2009. The site was also to house an interim store for the country's high-level waste and used fuel, which was also to be disposed of in the repository, subject to a 10-year period of research. Around 55,000 m3 of low- and intermediate-level waste, 8500 m3 of high-level waste and 350t used fuel was to be transported immediately to Scanzano Jonico.

The announcement triggered much public opposition and, following two weeks of protests, the cabinet removed the name of the town from the decree. [Back]

r. See Note f above. [Back]

s. One of seven JRC centres, the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) at Ispra includes nuclear security research amongst its activities. [Back]

t. The 50 kWt L-54 M reactor, located in the Enrico Fermi Center for Nuclear Studies (Centro Studi Nucleari Enrico Fermi, CeSNEF) in the Politecnico di Milano's Department of Nuclear Engineering (DIN), ceased operation in 1979. CeSNEF remains one of the main centres of nuclear research in Italy (see its website at www.cesnef.polimi.it). [Back]

u. The development of the 600 MWe ELSY (European Lead-cooled System) is being led by Ansaldo Nucleare, with finance from Euratom (see page on the Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor on the Generation IV International Forum website, www.gen-4.org). [Back]

References

1. Wind in power: 2009 European statistics, The European Wind Energy Association (February 2010) [Back]

2. Nuclear phase out a 'EUR 50 billion mistake', World Nuclear News (20 October 2008) [Back]

3. Italy rejoins the nuclear family, World Nuclear News (10 July 2009) [Back]

4. Italy can hold nuclear referendum, World Nuclear News (13 January 2011) [Back]

5. Italy's Enel signs for up to 1200 MWe of nuclear, World Nuclear News (30 November 2007) [Back]

6. Company to develop Italian nuclear is launched, World Nuclear News (3 August 2009); Enel and EDF Announced the Creation of an Equal Basis Joint Venture for the Nuclear Development in Italy, Enel press release (3 August 2009) [Back]

7. Agreement Between Enel and the Russian Company Inter RAO UES for Cooperation in a Number of Areas, Including the Joint Development of a Nuclear Plant at Kaliningrad, Enel press release (26 April 2010) [Back]

8. Commission Staff Working Document 'EU Decommissioning Funding Data', Document accompagnying the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, Second Report on the use of financial resources earmarked for the decommissioning of nuclear installations, spent fuel and radioactive waste {COM(2007) 794 final}, European Commission, SEC(2007) 1654 final/2 (22 December 2009, replacement of document SEC/2007/1654 final of 12 December 2007) [Back]

9. Positive thinking in Italy, Canada and Poland, World Nuclear News (7 August 2008) [Back]

10. Europeans and Nuclear Safety, Special Eurobarometer 324 (March 2010), conducted by TNS Opinion & Social at the request of the Directorate General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission [Back]

General sources

Country Nuclear Power Profiles: Italy, International Atomic Energy Agency
Nuclear Energy Agency Country Profiles – Italy, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
Sogin website (www.sogin.it)
Enel website (www.enel.com)
Il Nucleare in Italia – Nuclear Power in Italy, Archivio Storico Enel (September 2009)