21 Sep (NucNet): Italy’s cost estimate of €7.2bn ($8.5bn) for its nuclear decommissioning and waste management programme is “robust and thorough”, according to a peer review by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Sogin, the state-owned company responsible for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and radioactive waste management, said in a statement that it had met IAEA officials to discuss the peer review on 19 September 2017. Sogin said the review was aimed at verifying the consistency between the schedule and costs, the strategy adopted so far, and opportunities for improvement. The review was the first one of its kind of an overall decommissioning plan for a country, Sogin said. The €7.2bn estimate takes into account all possible risks connected to project development and other uncertainties due to “the prototypical nature of many of the facilities”, Sogin said. After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, Italy phased out nuclear power and for several years has been engaged in decommissioning its four nuclear power reactors and associated nuclear fuel-cycle facilities. Plans for waste management include the development of a national radioactive waste repository for the disposal of low- and medium-level waste and the interim storage of high-level waste. In July 2017 the IAEA said all those involved in the planning and construction of a proposed national radioactive waste repository in Italy should assign “high priority” to its siting and completion by 2025 as planned. The agency said Sogin should improve its planning and risk-management processes related to uncertainties typical of complex decommissioning projects.