Radioactive waste management

​​Radioactive waste resulting both from previous plant operations, and from decommissioning activities, is stored in the interim storage facilities of the site. Upon completion of the gradual transfer of the waste to National Repository​, all the interim facilities will be demolished. 

At the end of 2020, the volume of radioactive waste in Caorso amounts to 1,866 cubic metres

The volume can vary based on the year, the continuation of safe maintenance and decommissioning activities and the conditioning techniques for previous waste. 

Amount (in cubic metres) of radioactive waste, divided by type, located in Caorso NPP on 31/12/2020

TYPE OF WASTE

Short-lived substances Very Low-Level Waste Low Level Waste Intermediate Level Waste High Level Waste

0 828 988 0 0
TOTAL 1,866

Three radioactive waste interim storage facilities are currently located in Caorso nuclear power plant. The name used for the facilities (Low Activity Solid Waste Building and Medium Activity Solid Waste Building) does not refer to the kind of radioactive waste, which is, instead, classified according to the Ministerial Decree of 7 Augusto 2015. 

The main features of each storage facility in Caorso site are listed below. Please note that the volume of the storage area does not correspond to the maximum storage capacity, which must be intended as the sum of the volumes taken by the tank containing the radioactive waste. 

The maximum storage capacity of an interim storage facility may vary in time according to several factors, such as: storage strategies and techniques; type of storage tanks used; handling and monitoring requirements based on the kind of waste (inspections, stacking, recovery, etc.).

ERSBA 1 and ERSBA 2 interim storage facilities (Low Activity Solid Waste Building):

  • Volume of the storage area: 9,791 cubic metres
  • Maximum storage capacity: 1,690 cubic metres per repository
  • Amount of stored waste: 1.927 cubic metres
  • Surface: 1,542 square metres
  • Type of stored waste: Low Level waste
ERSMA interim storage facility (Medium Activity Solid Waste Building):

  • Volume of the storage area: 21,941 cubic metres
  • Maximum storage capacity: 1,100 cubic metres
  • Amount of stored waste: 438 cubic metres
  • Surface: 1,557 square metres
  • Type of stored waste: Low Level waste

The facilities currently host both conditioned waste and waste to be sent for treatment and conditioning (as for radioactive resins and sludges). 

The facilities also contain 204 radioactive waste tanks returned, in 2013, from the Swedish plant Studsvik Nuclear and resulted from incineration and conditioning or smelting and conditioning operations carried out on approx. 355 tonnes of radioactive waste (activated carbons, oils, polymers, electronical waste and contaminated metals). 

The interim storage facilities will be soon adapted to the new safety standards. The two facilities ERSBA 1 and ERSBA 2 will be demolished and rebuilt, while the ERSMA facility will be adapted by demolishing internal parts of the building. The three facilities will be supplied with new mechanical handling systems for the tanks by installing bridge cranes. Conditioned waste, in the adaptation stage, may be transferred in authorised temporary storage areas. 

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