The map of the areas with all the credentials to host the nuclear waste deposit is ready (but for now it is secret)

The map of the areas with all the credentials to host the nuclear waste deposit is ready (but for now it is secret)

The package was delivered on March 15th, as scheduled. The updated map of the locations that have all the credentials to host the national nuclear waste deposit has arrived at the Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITE). In technical jargon it is the National Charter of suitable areas. In an acronym Cnai. A document currently classified, because it will have to receive a series of authorizations before being published.

It is the last technical step to select the range of territories that could host the plant where 95 thousand cubic meters of radioactive waste are stored , between waste from the now disused atom supply chain and waste from nuclear medicine and industry. Then, after its publication, politics will speak, in order to be able to identify the place where to build the warehouse, a site worth 900 million euros, four thousand workers and four years of duration. The hope is that of a self-candidacy. Perspective, however, ever more remote.

The steps:

Where we stayed What awaits us now The project Where we stayed Cnai will establish which are the places in Italy that possess all the characteristics for to be able to host the infrastructure. The choice already falls on a small group of 67 areas, located between Piedmont, Tuscany, Lazio, Puglia, Basilicata, Sicily and Sardinia, the result of a previous selection work. Twelve in particular, among the provinces of Turin, Alessandria and Viterbo, respond with full marks to the criteria established by Sogin, the state company in charge of nuclear decommissioning.

However, no one has made itself available to accept the deposit, which will be carried out by Sogin. Indeed, on the occasion of the national seminar (a public consultation with local authorities and associations of the territories that took place between September and December 2021), all the representatives of the identified areas expressed themselves against, contesting some of the information produced by Sogin and recalling a series of conditions to be excluded from the choice, from fine agriculture to historical monuments, from the presence of other critical infrastructures in aquifers or parks. Sogin made it known that he had received over 600 questions, observations and proposals, for a total of 25 thousand pages of documents.

What awaits us now Following these meetings and other data that he received in 2021, Sogin took the first draft of territories deemed adequate (called the National Charter of potentially suitable areas, Cnapi) and pruned it. Cnai, handed over to the ministry led by Roberto Cingolani, will have to obtain the green light from the National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety (Isin), the national body that supervises the atom supply chain. Then the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility (Mitm) and Mite will have to approve and publish it. At that point the list of potential addresses of the waste deposit will be known.

The times are at this point in the hands of politics. Which, historically, has never willingly addressed the issue of the storage of radioactive waste, postponing the decision, albeit urgent. Suffice it to say that the CNAPI, delivered by Sogin to the Ministry of Economic Development (Mise) in 2016, was published by the ministry on January 5, 2021, suddenly, forcing many of the municipalities concerned to rush to recruit experts and collect data to evaluate the decision. asked Mite for a comment, without receiving a reply.

Italy cannot afford any more hesitations. It is one of the few countries in Europe that does not yet have such a structure. And it has millionaire contracts to hold some slag in France and the UK, although Sogin has managed to snatch some discounts. Paris and London, however, want reassurance on the return of waste to their homeland.

A self-nomination of one of the territories that will be in the Cnai would solve a very delicate game. In this way, ministries would not be required to negotiate locally. Or, if these too fail, to have to decide by authority where to build the warehouse. However, if there is one clear thing that emerged at the national seminar, it is the clear, unanimous no of all those interested in hosting the infrastructure. Not a good premise. And this despite examples in the rest of Europe, such as that of Aube in France or Cabril in Spain, show that these plants can coexist with traditional agriculture and tourism (the French one is in the Champagne region) or with natural oases (near which it stands the Iberian one).

The project The repository will store 78 thousand cubic meters of radioactive waste at low and very low intensity and temporarily 17 thousand at medium and high intensity, pending the construction of a centralized plant at European level. The warehouse will occupy 150 hectares and will consist of ninety reinforced concrete constructions, called the cells, which in turn will contain the concrete modules, where the metal containers with the waste will be placed. A matryoshka system to seal them for the next 300 years. A technological park will also be created for research and study on nuclear waste. Last year it was rumored that 2022 would be a good year to end the game. Let's see if the promise will be kept.

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