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Latina plant, the last of Italy’s 4 nuclear power stations to be dismantled

Italy approves dismantling of Latina plant 02 June 2020

Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development recently issued a decree authorising Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin) to begin the initial phase of decommissioning the Latina nuclear power plant. The Latina plant is the last of the four Italian nuclear power plants to obtain a decommissioning decree.
After considering the opinion of the National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ISIN) and the other competent institutions, the Ministry of Economic Development issued the decree on 20 May. ISIN is the independent regulatory authority responsible for nuclear safety and radiation protection. The decree establishes the conditions and requirements that regulate the execution of operations in the first phase of decommissioning.

The main activities envisaged during this initial phase of decommissioning concern the dismantling of the six boilers, with a total weight of over 3600 tonnes, and the lowering of the reactor building height from 53 to 38 metres. Buildings and auxiliary systems will also be dismantled. These operations are in addition to those already carried out or in progress at the plant.

By the end of this phase, all previous radioactive wastes generated through the operation of the plant or those produced by the dismantling of structures, systems and plant components will be stored safely at the site. These wastes will be stored both in a new temporary storage facility and in some specifically adapted reactor building premises. This initial phase of decommissioning the Latina plant is expected to be completed in 2027 and to cost EUR270 million (USD302 million).

With the availability of a planned national repository, it will be possible to start the second and final phase of the decommissioning of the plant with the dismantling of the graphite gas reactor. Once all the radioactive waste has been transferred to the repository and the temporary storage facilities demolished, the site will be released, without radiological restrictions, and returned to the community for its reuse.

“We are pleased with the issuance of this decree, the fifth after those obtained for the Bosco Marengo [fuel fabrication] plant and the Trino, Garigliano and Caorso [nuclear power] plants,” said Sogin CEO Emanuele Fontani. “This is a crucial step for the closure of the Italian nuclear cycle, which allows us to get to the heart of the decommissioning of the Latina plant. This measure confirms the fruitful collaboration between the various institutional subjects involved in the dismantling of nuclear plants.”

The Latina plant, comprising a single 210 MWe Magnox graphite gas-cooled reactor, began operating in January 1964. It was permanently shut in December 1987 as a result of the Italian referendum on nuclear power that followed the April 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Sogin took over ownership of the site in November 1999.

June 4, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Dismantling of Norway’s nuclear research reactors – up to 25 years, about $billion

Norwegian reactor dismantling to cost almost USD2 billion, WNN , 18 May 2020   The decommissioning of Norway’s shut down research reactors at Halden and Kjeller will cost around NOK20 billion (USD1.96 billion) and take 20-25 years, according to a report commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The report by Atkins and Oslo Economics mainly confirms assessments from the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and risk management and quality assurance consultants DNV GL that were made in 2019. It estimates that demolition of facilities and restoration of the areas will cost around NOK7 billion. There will also be costs of around NOK13 billion for the treatment of used fuel and the storage of radioactive waste. However, it notes there is “considerable uncertainty” around these costs…….

“There have been limited reactor operations in Norway, but we have complicated facilities and waste that will cost a lot,” said Minister of Industry Iselin Nybø. “The report shows how costly and lengthy that dismantling can be. The proposed measures will help to make the cleanup as efficient as possible.

“We will clean up to protect ourselves from harmful consequences for people and the environment from the radiation from this past industry,” Nybø added. “The investigation is part of the puzzle that is now being put in place to ensure a safe and effective cleanup. It will be considered thoroughly and planned to be addressed by the government in the autumn of 2020.”

Norway’s two research reactors – the nuclear fuel and materials testing reactor at Halden and the JEEP-II neutron scattering facility at Kjeller – were declared permanently shut down in June 2018 and April 2019, respectively. Their ownership and responsibility for them will move to Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND) from IFE……

May 19, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Removal of Fort Belvoir’s SM-1 nuclear reactor to proceed after Army finalizes environmental assessment

 May 18, 2020 Fort Hunt Herald  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) remains on track to award a contract for the decommissioning and dismantlement of the deactivated SM-1 nuclear power plant at Fort Belvoir by September 2020.

That is according to USACE Project Manager Brenda Barber, who provided an update by email to SM-1 stakeholders on May 18, 2020.

Following a public comment period, Barber announced that the SM-1 project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) have been finalized and published online:……..

“The team is now focused on completing the Decommissioning Planning in preparation for awarding a decommissioning contract,” Barber stated.

“The project team still anticipates awarding a decommissioning contract by September 2020 with mobilization work on site beginning in early 2021.”……….

Barber noted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has not had any immediate significant impact on the project schedule, since most of the work at this administrative phase is being done virtually. The site remains secure and environmental and radiological monitoring and inspections continue.

For information about the project, visit:

Questions and comments can continue to be sent to the project’s corporate communications team by emailing or calling (410) 375-4565

May 19, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Indian Point nuclear power station – Unit 2 permanently closed

May 5, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactor pressure vessel to be shipped by rail to Utah, from Sanonofre

After decades, the heart of a nuclear reactor will finally leave San Onofre  

The reactor pressure vessel for Unit 1, the first of three reactors on site, will get a permanent home in Utah, By TERI SFORZA | | Orange County Register, May 1, 2020   The original plan, nearly 20 years ago, was to plop the retired nuclear reactor pressure vessel on a barge and ship it off — via the Panama Canal or all the way around the tip of South America — to a final resting place in South Carolina.But there were strong objections to transporting the huge metal shell that way. After all, atoms had actually been split inside it. And so the giant, but empty, heart of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 1 was packed away in a huge steel cylinder in 2002. The cylinder was filled with grout for shielding against radiation. It was sealed, and has been stored at the plant ever since.

Now — as serious tear-down work gets under way on Units 2 and 3 — the heart of long-ago-dismantled Unit 1 is finally slated to leave San Onofre forever.

Operator Southern California Edison is preparing to ship Unit 1’s reactor pressure vessel to a licensed disposal facility in Clive, Utah, which is owned by Energy Solutions, one of San Onofre’s decommissioning contractors. It will have company: San Onofre’s retired steam generators were shipped to Clive in 2012.

Though officials can’t get too specific on precisely when or how the vessel will go — for safety reasons — they’ve been preparing a rail spur to haul heavy components off site.

The reactor vessel is considered low-level waste, the least hazardous of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s radioactive waste classifications. Contaminated cleaning supplies, used disposable protective clothing and reactor parts are other examples of low-level waste.

How can the crucible for nuclear reactions be low-level waste? The most radioactive parts within it were removed, cut up, and stored with higher-level waste on site, said John Dobken, a spokesman for Edison. What’s left is Cobalt-60, which has a half-life of about five years.

Unit 1 was retired in 1992, and the reactor vessel has been packaged for 18 years, so it has gone through about five half-lives, reducing its radioactivity, Dobken said.The contact dose rate for the vessel package is less than 0.1 millirem an hour, which is 500 times below the Department of Transportation limit for these types of shipments, Edison said in a primer on the move. For comparison, a chest X-ray provides a dose of 10 millirem.

Since this is low-level waste, it was never part of Edison’s contract with the federal government requiring the U.S. Department of Energy to haul away high-level waste by 1998 in exchange for payments into the Nuclear Waste Fund.

The federal government’s paralysis on finding a permanent home for the nation’s high-level nuclear waste is why 40 years’ worth of it remains stuck on site, generating sharp controversy.

While critics have called on Edison to cease decommissioning work at San Onofre during the lock-down, it proceeds with “pandemic protocols” in place, Dobken said. Everyone on site must wear a mask and practice social distancing.


By the numbers: The package weighs 770 tons, or more than 1.5 million pounds. Inside is the Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel, pieces of radioactive metal and grout for radiation shielding. It’s a 2-inch-thick carbon steel cylindrical canister with a 3-inch-thick carbon steel liner; top and bottom plates are 3 inches thick. The canister is 38.5 feet long and 15.5 feet in diameter.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Indian Point nuclear power station’s first step to closure, as one reactor shuts down

Nuclear power plant north of New York City to start shutdown, Daily Journal ,By MARY ESCH Associated Press, Apr 29, 2020 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — With the push of a red button, one of the two operating nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center along the Hudson River north of New York City will shut down Thursday night as federal regulators consider the plant owner’s proposal to sell it to a company that plans to demolish it by the end of 2033 at a projected cost of $2.3 billion.

The 1,020-megawatt Unit 2 reactor will close for good Thursday and 1,040-megawatt Unit 3 will close in April 2021 as part of a deal reached in January 2017 between Entergy Corp., the state of New York and the environmental group Riverkeeper. The Unit 1 reactor shut down in 1974, 12 years after the plant began operation in the Westchester County town of Buchanan……

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo had long sought the shutdown, saying the plant 24 miles north of Manhattan posed too great a risk to millions of people who live and work nearby. Riverkeeper noted Hudson River fish kills, soil and water contamination, recurrent emergency shutdowns and vulnerability to terrorist attacks. Entergy cited low natural gas prices and increased operating costs as key factors in its decision to close Indian Point and exit the merchant power business.

A year ago, Entergy announced a deal to sell the 240-acre facility to the New Jersey-based decommissioning firm Holtec International, which has submitted a dismantling plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At a public information session held online last week, NRC representatives said the commission is reviewing Holtec’s financial and technical qualifications, as well as public comments, before approving the license transfer.

According to the NRC, Indian Point will join 13 other nuclear power plants across the United States that have begun the decades-long process of decommissioning, which dismantles a facility to the point that it no longer presents a radioactive danger.

Under the decommissioning process, spent fuel rod assemblies are initially placed in large pools of water where the hot fuel is cooled for at least two years. Then the spent fuel is transferred into giant steel and concrete cylinders that stay at the site unless or until a national nuclear waste storage facility is created……..

A 2017 analysis by the New York Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s electrical grid, concluded that Indian Point’s closure won’t impair the grid’s ability to keep New York City’s lights on.  ……

April 30, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Microbes in nuclear fuel ponds slow down the decommissioning process

April 11, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

The clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear mess is not going to schedule – continual decommissioning delays

March 17, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Fukushima continuing, Reference | 1 Comment

Kazakhstan local residents may be stuck with costs of decommissioning nuclear reactor

March 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

Sweden now faces years of nuclear reactor shutdowns and waste disposal problems

Sweden prepares for a decade of nuclear decommissioning, NS Energy, By Kristina Gillin  27 Feb 2020 ,

Sweden is preparing to dismantle and demolish six large power reactors on three sites over the coming years.

By the end of 2020, half of Sweden’s nuclear reactors will have been permanently shut down for decommissioning. The six large reactors are expected to undergo nuclear decommissioning in Sweden over the next decade.

Besides these, the Ågesta prototype reactor, a combined heat and power plant is about to commence dismantling.

Nuclear decommissioning at Sweden’s Barsebäck nuclear power plant

The twin units at Barsebäck,  a few miles across the straight from Denmark, ceased to generate power in 1999 and 2005, respectively.

After shutdown, all spent fuel was removed and shipped to Sweden’s central interim storage facility (Clab) in Oskarshamn. Major decontamination of systems was also done early. However, dismantling had to wait, due to a lack of facilities for storage or disposal of decommissioning waste………

Funding and nuclear waste disposal in Sweden

Owners of nuclear power plants in Sweden have a statutory duty to dispose of their wastes. They are also required to set aside funding for waste management and nuclear decommissioning in Sweden. The funding is held in the Nuclear Waste Fund, a segregated Swedish government fund.

To fulfil the obligations, they jointly own the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB). SKB’s scope covers disposal of most radioactive waste streams, interim storage of spent fuel and transportation between the various sites.

SKB is also responsible for compiling cost estimates for decommissioning and waste management every three years.

This to ensure that payments into the Nuclear Waste Fund are sufficient to cover future costs.

According to the 2019 estimates, the total cost of waste disposal, spent fuel storage and decommissioning is approximately SEK 147 billion (around €14 billion). Of this, about SEK 53 billion (around €5 billion) has been spent to date.

These figures include most of SKB’s scope but exclude the costs of near-surface disposal facilities for very low-level waste at Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark.

The majority of low- and intermediate-level waste from all Swedish reactors will be disposed of in SFR, a shallow geological repository for short-lived waste on the Forsmark nuclear site.

SFR has been in operation since 1988 but is currently licensed for operational waste only. To accommodate decommissioning waste, SKB plans to expand SFR’s capacity from 63,000 to 180,000 m3. An application for the expansion was submitted in 2014.

Pending regulatory approvals, construction of the new rock vaults will take place from 2023 to 2029.

March 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Sweden | Leave a comment

Lawmakers seek safeguards on decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

January 27, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Tepco estimates 44 years to decommission its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.

Japan Times 23rd Jan 2020, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has estimated that it will take 44 years to decommission its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant. Tepco presented the outline of decommissioning plans to the municipal assembly of Tomioka, one of the two host towns of the nuclear plant, on Wednesday.

The Fukushima No. 2 plant is located south of the No. 1 plant, which suffered a triple meltdown accident in the wake of the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.

According to the outline, the decommissioning process for the No.
2 plant will have four stages, taking 10 years for the first stage, 12
years for the second stage and 11 years each for the third and fourth

Tepco will survey radioactive contamination at the nuclear plant in
the first stage, clear equipment around nuclear reactors in the second,
remove the reactors in the third and demolish the reactor buildings in the
fourth. Meanwhile, the plant operator will transfer a total of 9,532 spent
nuclear fuel units at the plant to a fuel reprocessing company by the end
of the decommissioning process, and 544 unused fuel units to a processing
firm by the start of the third stage.

January 27, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Britain’s £1.2bn cleanup begins, of Berkeley power station, closed 30 years ago

January 6, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Germany To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022

Germany Aims To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022,, By Tsvetana Paraskova – Dec 30, 2019, Germany is going forward with its plan to phase out nuclear reactors by 2022 as another nuclear power plant is going offline on December 31.Power company EnBW has said that it would take the Philippsburg 2 reactor off the grid at 7 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve.

This leaves Germany with six nuclear power plants that will have to close by 2022.

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, Germany ordered the immediate shutdown of eight of its 17 reactors, and plans to phase out nuclear power plants entirely by 2022.

The Philippsburg 2 reactor near the city of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany has provided energy for 35 years. The Philippsburg 1 reactor—opened in 1979—was taken offline in 2011.

Over the past few years, nuclear power generation in Germany has been declining with the shutdown of its nuclear plants, while electricity production from renewable sources has been rising.

In January this year, Germany became the latest large European economy to lay out a plan to phase out coal-fired power generation, aimed at cutting carbon emissions—a metric in which Berlin has been lagging in recent years.

A government-appointed special commission at Europe’s largest economy announced the conclusions of its months-long review and proposed that Germany shut all its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038.

Germany, where coal, hard coal, and lignite combined currently provide around 35 percent of power generation, has a longer timetable for phasing out coal than the UK and Italy, for example—who plan their coal exit by 2025—not only because of its vast coal industry, but also because Germany will shut down all its nuclear power plants within the next three years.

The closure of all nuclear reactors in Germany by 2022 means that Germany might need to retain half of its coal-fired power generation until 2030 to offset the nuclear phase-out, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said earlier this year.

January 2, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, Germany, politics | 1 Comment

Germany’s nuclear phase-out enters final stretch

Germany shuts down atomic plant as nuclear phase-out enters final stretch, DW, 1 Jan 2020, The Philippsburg power station is one of the only plants still operating in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg. Germany has vowed to start decommissioning every nuclear power facility by the end of 2022.Operators began shutting down the Philippsburg nuclear power plant in southern Germany on Tuesday, as the country puts into motion its plan to begin decommissioning all 17 of its atomic energy facilities by the end of 2022. …..

The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan led to widespread anti-atomic-power protests across Germany. Two months after the accident, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that all plants would be closed over the next decade, making Germany the second country after Italy to shut down all of its atomic energy stations.

The German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) welcomed the news. A BUND spokesman said the group hoped to see the end of nuclear power being “conjured up again and again as a supposed healing charm and climate savior.”

However, Wolfram König, who heads the German government’s office for the nuclear phase-out, warned that the country still faced the great “challenge” of trying to phase out both coal and atomic energy at the same time.

January 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Germany, politics | Leave a comment