Italy is under EU infringement for delays on national radioactive waste storage
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Closer and closer the final choice of the national radioactive waste storage. By the end of March, Sogin will send the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTe) the National Charter of Suitable Areas (NACI). The company responsible for the decommissioning of Italian nuclear plants is preparing the document integrating the CNAPI – the map that identified potentially suitable areas – with the observations that emerged from the public consultation phase in which more than 300 participated subjects.
The ball will then pass to the meek who will continue the evaluation process. CNAI will be examined by ISIN, the National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection. This supervisory body is the regulatory authority responsible for nuclear safety and radiation protection at the national level and will have to provide a technical opinion. After the ok, you will still need the stamp of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Universities and Scientific Research.
At that point, strengthened by the technical and political green light, CNAI will return to Sogin. Within 30 days of publication, the company will begin one of the most delicate steps: the confrontation with the regions and local authorities. The aim is to find an agreement on the areas identified by the map to build the national radioactive waste storage.
Yesterday, during a session of questions to be answered immediately before the Environment Committee of the House, the mild Undersecretary Vannia Gava pointed out that were excluded from the CNAI all the Unesco heritage territories, while they remain indicated as suitable all the areas identified on the major islands since the insularity “is not a requirement that compromises the suitability of the areas”.
The process that is leading to the establishment of the national radioactive waste depot has been delayed countless times. Directive 2011/70/Euratom of the European Council even set a deadline of August 2015 for planning the safe storage of nuclear waste and radioactive waste. The chart, however, soon disappeared from the radar in 2015, not after causing controversy throughout the peninsula. The CNAPI then re-emerged in January 2021, with an infringement procedure opened and with the date of 2025 – when nuclear waste shipped over time to France and Great Britain will return to Italy – looming.
The potential areas identified so far are 67, distributed in some clusters. In the north there is only one in Piedmont, in the center two both in Viterbo and two others between Grosseto and Siena. In the south other clusters were identified between Puglia and Basilicata. Many potentially suitable sites in Sardinia (as many as 14) and Sicily. The national radioactive waste depot will occupy an area of 78 thousand m3 and will host all nuclear waste and other types of medical-hospital waste used by research. These are mainly low- and medium-sized waste (non-hazardous waste after 300 years), already conditioned. But temporarily, the warehouse will also be able to accommodate medium and high-activity waste, for which a geological deposit is needed.