Waste Management

Italy / Caorso Radioactive Waste Shipped To Slovakia For Treatment

By David Dalton
30 January 2020

Caorso Radioactive Waste Shipped To Slovakia For Treatment
A 2005 file photo of the Caorso nuclear station in northern Italy. Simone Ramella/Wikipedia.
The first of 33 scheduled transports aimed at moving about 5,600 drums of radioactive resin and sludge from the Caorso nuclear power plant in northern Italy has left for a facility near the Bohunice nuclear station in Slovakia for treatment and conditioning, Italy’s state-owned nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management company.

This is the second and final phase of the transfer programme, which is costing €37m and is expected to end in 2022. The waste is being shipped to Bohunice because Slovakian specialist nuclear company Javys won a public tender, Sogin said in an email.

At the end of the process, the final products will return to Caorso and will be stored in interim onsite storage, ready to be moved to a national repository.

The transfer of the waste, which represents about 70% of the waste at Caorso, will allow three interim storage buildings to be emptied and upgraded to, without the need for building new temporary repositories.

Emptying the three buildings will also allow the decommissioning of the Caorso plant to progress.

The first phase of the project, in June 2018, involved the sending of 336 drums so hot testing could be carried out at the Slovakian facility. The positive tests led to the authorisation for shipment of the remaining waste.

Caorso is a single-unit 860-MW boiling water reactor plant. It began commercial operation in 1981 and was permanently shut down in 1990.

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