The decommissioning of Italian nuclear sites and the management of radioactive waste are activities subjected to authorization and approval procedures, involving the Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE), the National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ISIN), the Ministry of Environment and Protection of the Territory and the Sea (MATTM) and other national and local institutions.
The main authorization act for the dismantling of a nuclear plant is the Deactivation Decree, issued by the Ministry of Economic Development, after hearing the opinions of the Ministries of the Environment and of the Protection of the Territory and the Sea, of the Interior, of Work and of Social Policies, Health, the Region concerned and ISIN. This procedure, envisaged by the articles 55 (Authorization for the deactivation of nuclear plants) and 56 (Procedure for the issue of the authorization for deactivation - Conduct of operations) of the Legislative Decree no. 230/1995, starts with the presentation by Sogin of the request for deactivation.
So far the deactivation Decree has been obtained for the nuclear power plants of Trino, Garigliano and the fuel deposit of the former CISE laboratories of the CESI district of Segrate, in 2012, for the Caorso nuclear power plant, in 2014, and for the plant FN of Bosco Marengo, in 2008.
Pending the release of the deactivation Decree, individual projects may also be authorized for the purpose of carrying out the decommissioning and temporary works and temporary structures necessary for decommissioning.
. In particular the authorizations on the single projects can be obtained through the application of the following articles:
- Article 148, paragraph 1 bis of the Legislative Decree 230/1995 for particular operations and specific interventions, even if related to deactivation, aimed at ensuring the most effective protection of workers and the population;
- Article 6 of Law no. 1860/1962, for activities concerning specific requests of control Bodies/Organizations and for plant modifications that may consist in the realization of new works or in the modifications of plant systems, important for safety.
Both the Decommissioning Decrees and the two types of authorizations provided for by the art. 148 of the Legislative Decree no. 230/1995 and by art. 6 of Law no. 1860/1962, are also valid as declarations of public utility, indifferibility and urgency, and constitute variants to urban planning instruments, replacing every administrative provision, authorization, concession, license, authorization, agreement and administrative act, however named, foreseen by the rules in force, constituting title to the execution of the works. This was established by paragraph 4 of the art. 24 (Acceleration of decommissioning and decommissioning of nuclear sites) of the law decree no. 1/2012, converted with amendments by law no. 27/2012. In fact, the purpose of the regulation is to reduce the time and costs of dismantling nuclear installations and to guarantee maximum safety.
As regards the environmental aspects, the most significant authorization is the Decree of environmental compatibility which is issued, based on the type of projects to be approved, by the Ministry of the Environment and of the Protection of the Territory and the Sea together with the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (part II of Legislative Decree no. 152/2006, those following the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure - national EIA) or the Region concerned (Annex III part II of the Legislative Decree no. 152/2006 which follow the regional EIA procedure).
The EIA procedure has the objective of identifying and assessing, on a preventive basis, the effects on the environment, on human health and well-being, of certain projects, identifying, through appropriate provisions contained in the Decree, the measures to prevent, eliminate or minimize negative environmental impacts.
Sogin is thus obliged to comply with these conditions and provisions by transmitting the feedbacks to the individuals in charge of verification and control (Ministry of the Environment and Protection of the Territory and the Sea, Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, Region, Environmental Observatory, etc.), in the manner and times indicated in the provision itself.
For some specific projects, provided for in Annex II-bis of the Legislative Decree no. 152/2006 (such as the construction of a new temporary depot), it is necessary to proceed to a prior verification of being subject to EIA.
The dismantling of the four Trino, Garigliano, Latina and Caorso power plants and the two projects relating to the ICPF plants at the Rotondella site and CEMEX at the Saluggia site obtained the Environmental Compatibility Decree.
The financial resources used by Sogin for the implementation of the decommissioning program for nuclear plants, for the management and safety of radioactive waste and for the treatment and conditioning of nuclear fuel - the so-called nuclear order - derive:
The current system for the recognition of costs for nuclear order
- from the “nuclear power plant dismantling” and “treatment and disposal of nuclear fuel” funds, accumulated by Enel in the period 1962-1999, through the provision of a percentage of the selling price of the kWh produced, and transferred to Sogin at the time of conferment of nuclear activities (October 1999);
- by the A2RIM component (formerly A2) of the electricity tariff determined quarterly by the Regulatory Authority for Energy Networks and the Environment (ARERA).
was defined by ARERA with the resolutions no. 574/2012 and no. 194/2013 for the period 2013-2016 and extended, with corrective measures, also for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The regulation system under consideration is based on a mechanism of double recognition of costs, both on a budget and in the final balance. As part of this mechanism, Sogin sends each year to the Authority:
- by 28th February the final statement of the previous year for approval
The current system subdivides the costs of the nuclear order into different categories, beyond taxes and incentive costs for the exodus, which corresponds to a different method of recognition.
External costs commensurate with the progress of decommissioning activities, or relating to contracts for the implementation of decommissioning works, including the construction of temporary radioactive waste deposits and the management of the fuel cycle.
Costs for long-term use, costs incurred for the construction of assets not intended to be dismantled and for which use can be expected even beyond the end of the plant dismantling program, such as equipment in dosimetry and analysis laboratories environmental, materials management and control stations or management software.
Costs incurred for physical protection, sites and headquarter surveillance contracts, insurance coverage, mandatory training and plants management and surveillance activities (for example environmental radiological surveillance or medical and radiological surveillance workers). This list includes the cost of personnel considered “mandatory” by operating regulations, emergency plans or other decrees or legal provisions relevant to safety at work.
Costs that can be commensurate with the progress of dismantling activities, namely those for consultancy, professional services and temporary or temporary work administration contracts and for internal personnel (such as personnel who carry out planning or procurement activities) involved in activities linked to the dismantling trend.
General costs that can be used, external costs for various site services and coordination and service costs - which are not mandatory and linked to dismantling activities -, such as those for green areas, or for office furniture and equipment. This item includes the cost of staff with staff functions.
In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the action, the regulatory system also provides for a reward mechanism defined through the achievement of certain specific objectives and the possible application of a penalty in the event of delays in achieving of the same. The objectives and targets/projects on which the progress of decommissioning activities is measured are:
- Task driver: these are tasks/projects that ARERA considers of strategic value; through the evaluation of their progress ARERA evaluates the overall progress of the decommissioning program and the recognition of the commensurate costs (art 6.7 of the ARERA resolution 194/2013);
- Milestone: these are specific objectives to be achieved each year related to activities considered particularly relevant by ARERA (also downstream of sharing with ISIN and MISE in a specific institutional table). In each year of the regulatory period, a list of milestones is defined by the Authority, each with its own percentage weight.
ARERA, therefore, determines the amount of nuclear costs to be charged to the electricity tariff (A2RIM component) guaranteeing, through specific disbursements from the Energy and Environmental Services Fund (CSEA), the coverage of Sogin's financial needs based on a annual financial plan that is updated every quarter.