Development and innovation


The Sogin Group has, within its organization, a department dedicated to the study and implementation of projects related to the development of innovative technological solutions in nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management, with the objectives of:

  • improving safety;
  • minimize waste production;
  • increase productivity, while reducing overall time and cost of activities.

Although the technologies used have so far been deemed adequate to cope with most of the complexities associated with dismantling activities, the need has emerged, especially in operations within areas with a higher level of radioactivity, to improve them, adapt them or optimize them. Dismantling nuclear plants, which have been designed without taking into account their subsequent dismantling, implies for Sogin the need to face engineering and management problems that require studies and detailed analysis as it is often not possible to rely on standard approaches or technologies already available. This translates into a constant commitment to the design and implementation of specific technologies and innovative systems and treatments for decontamination and radioactive waste management. Below are some of the Sogin Group's projects for technology innovation applied in the two macro areas of decommissioning and waste management.​

Here are some of the Sogin Group's projects for technology innovation applied in the two macro areas:

te Management


Sistema NIWAS (Nucleco Integrated Waste Assay System)

The Sogin Group uses the NIWAS integrated system (Nucleco Integrated Waste Assay System) for radiological characterization, which includes various independent measurement techniques aimed at quantifying the radiological content of a drum with the utmost precision and accuracy.

Sistema NIWAS (Nucleco Integrated Waste Assay System)

In particular, the NIWAS system integrates the NWAS range spectrometry (Nucleco Waste Assay System) based on the segmented scanning system (Segmented Gamma Scanner), the passive and active neutron count measurement using the PANWAS system (Passive Active Neutron Waste Assay System) and the radiographic survey. The results obtained with the listed techniques are integrated with the support of theoretical calculations and Monte Carlo simulations.

TGS and Geomixed systems

The Sogin Group is equipped with state-of-the-art measurement systems such as the Tomographic Gamma Scanner (TGS), which allows to reconstruct a 3D image of the matrix and of the contamination inside a drum. The Geomixed system is instead used for measurements on packages of variable geometries, for their unconditional removal.


le spectrometers and Imaging system

The Sogin Group has over 20 portable HPGe detectors and CZT miniaturized detectors, a vast and cutting-edge technology park that allows you to choose, based on the operational and radiological complexity of the requested service, the optimal tools for the activities to be performed. For the activities of radiological characterization with non-destructive techniques (NDA), Nucleco has equipped itself with an imaging system of gamma radiation, which allows to reconstruct the position and distribution of source of contamination in any type of room or object.


The Sogin Group provides technologies for the creation and study of 3D models, integrated in an analysis system called 3D SURVEY. This system is based on the acquisition, with Laser Scanner systems, of “point clouds”, subsequently processed in 3D CAD models that allow to perform precision measurements and navigate through virtual reality systems in three-dimensional environments, in order to optimize the intervention planning phases. Nucleco has used this technology to model its site, in order to reconstruct some plans of the plant


ICS42 Compaction and Dismantling Plant

In the ICS42 plant solid waste is treated at the Nucleco facilities. After an initial repackaging and sampling phase for a complete physical and radiological characterization, this waste is sent to the Compaction and Dismantling Plant. In the ICS42 plant, the 200-liter drums containing the waste are reduced in volume through a 1500-ton hydraulic press and other equipment that allows completely automated operations to be performed. After compacting, the pellets produced are placed in special 400 liter metal containers, called Overpacks, designed and approved for transport. The Overpack content is inerted through a qualified and controlled cement mortar. The Overpacks are finally transferred to temporary depots, pending the availability of a final disposal site. The plant is also equipped with a Pretreatment and Dismantling section thanks to which it is possible to dismantle contaminated components of various sizes, inside cells that are dynamically and statically confined, shielded and equipped with automated and remote cutting equipment (torch to plasma, manipulators, etc.). The Pretreatment and Dismantling section consists of a pretreatment cell and a dismantling cell. In the pretreatment cell, the volumetric reduction of solid waste takes place, with a 200-ton hydraulic press, and its packaging in 200-liter drums to be sent to the characterization, treatment and conditioning process. The dismantling cell is instead dedicated to the volume reduction of large components by means of a remote cutting with a plasma torch.

Remote systems or robots for interventions in areas that are difficult to access

Robot for scarifying circular inner surface


Sogin designed, built and used a robot, equipped with the related tools, for scarifying the internal concrete surface of the chimney of the Garigliano nuclear power plant (91 meters) and for taking samples for decontamination progress checks.


This activity subsequently allowed the dismantling of the structure. To validate the entire system and perform the efficiency and reliability tests, a 12-meter high mock-up was created.


elopment of robots equipped with ultrasound probes for thickness measurements on stainless steel ta


Sogin is designing a remote-controlled system that allows non-destructive tests to be performed, with particular attention to welding, on the outer shell of storage tanks for liquid radioactive waste made of stainless steel. The system must be able to move independently in an environment confined with high dose rates and with the problems associated with the non-magnetic characteristics of the tanks. Since no commercial products are available, the technological solution being developed involves the construction of an integrated system consisting of a robot equipped with an articulated arm capable of supporting and positioning on the shell mantle a special ultrasonic probe, with axial sliding, capable of accurately perform thickness checks on the mantle and on the weld seams.


Waste Management

Radioactive waste treatment and conditioning systems

Sogin has applied for a “Utility Model patent” to create an innovative treatment and conditioning system, by cementing, of a reduced volume of liquid radioactive waste of medium activity contaminated by plutonium, using devices and components installed inside a Glove box.

Rendering of the Glove Box for cementing liquid radioactive waste

This system allows, in an enclosed alpha-sealed environment, to perform semi-automatic handling operations aimed at cementing this kind of waste and consists in the simplification and reduction of components and equipment normally used in large industrial plants. The system offers the nuclear decommissioning sector a solution to treat and condition reduced volumes of contaminated aqueous liquid alpha waste without having to build complex industrial plants that involve long authorization procedures, environmental impacts, significant construction and management costs.

Modular conditioning system

Sogin is building a Modular System for the Conditioning of Liquid Waste, called SiCoMoR. This system is an engineering challenge since it is a project based on the modularity of all processes, from the waste pre-treatment phases to the movement of the entire building. Sogin has designed this modular, transportable prefabricated system to optimize its use by using it on multiple sites. Due to these characteristics, this system represents an overall management of radioactive waste with a reduced impact on the environment. The SiCoMoR, currently under construction, makes it possible to solidify liquid radioactive waste through direct cementing in a cylindrical container. Its overall size is about 20 meters long and about 17 meters wide .

Wet Oxidation plant for the treatment of exhausted resins

At the Trino Nuclear Power Plant, Sogin is building the world's first plant to treat about 100 cubic meters of organic-based radioactive waste (spent ion exchange resins) using wet oxidation technology (WOT).

Impianto di Wet Oxidation per il trattamento delle resine esaurite
3D drawing of the WOT system

This system was developed after a long period of studies and experimentation during which Sogin also built a small-scale plant (mock up) to test the effectiveness of the process for the treatment of spent resins. The residue obtained from the WOT plant will be sent to the SiCoMoR cementation station (Modular Waste Conditioning System) where it will be conditioned in a cement matrix. The process allows a reduced impact in terms of gaseous emissions obtaining at the same time a high factor for reducing the volume of the resins and a final waste that can be conditioned by direct cementing. This is the first use in the world of a widely used conventional technology that Sogin has made compatible with the nuclear sector.


ic research activity

Liquid solidification with innovative polymeric materials


ing” are those types of waste for which a consolidated treatment and conditioning strategy is not determined, such as, for example, liquid radioactive waste whose main components are organic solvents and oily mixtures. In this context, a system was created to mix and solidify low activity oily liquid radioactive waste.

tion of oily mixtures with special polymeric material

The system allows to obtain the complete adsorption (without time release) of the organic fraction present, by adding a particular polymer with excellent resistance and stability characteristics. Laboratory studies are ongoing to verify the stability characteristics of the product obtained after adsorption with the aim of verifying the applicability of the technology to other waste streams present in Sogin plants.


tion of low and medium activity liquid conditioning processes for radioactive waste

Sogin has acquired a significant know-how in the study of cement-waste interaction phenomena thanks to twenty years of experience in the qualification activities of conditioning processes. Sogin has technological solutions, professional skills and laboratories to identify the optimal solutions for treating and conditioning in the cement matrix liquid, semi-liquid and muddy radioactive wastes of different nature and with complex chemical and radiological composition. Direct cementation is a simple process and at room temperature is a widely applied technology. The final product has excellent characteristics in terms of mechanical strength, resistance to irradiation and leaching, but requires the development of a dedicated program for testing and qualifying the conditioning matrix to verify the long-term stability of the solid product obtained.