300 cubic metres of liquid radioactive waste are now located in the Saluggia plant; they mainly result from the fuel elements reprocessing campaigns held in the 70s and 80s.
The solidification (cementation and conditioning) of liquid waste will be carried out in the CEMEX Complex (CEMentation EurEX).
The facility will be located next to the New Tank Farm, which will be connected to the cementation plant through pipes for the transfer of radioactive liquids. Conditioned products will be stored in the temporary repository D3.
The project’s complexity is due to the particular system layout which, given the level of radioactivity of the liquids to be treated, ensures the complete remote control of the operations in order to guarantee maximum safety for workers, population and the environment.
Works tendering and progress
The creation of CEMEX plant was appointed to a Temporary Business Group (RTI). According to the contract, on 12 August 2017 the contractor had to return the two buildings of the CEMEX plant (cementation plant and temporary repository D3) complete of all systems.
Anyway, on that date, the work progress was less than 10%. For this reason, Sogin decided to terminate the agreement in September 2017 and to reacquire the working area. In February 2018, Sogin filed an “appearance and response with counterclaim” at the Civil Court of Rome – Special Business Sector, to ask for a reimbursement for the damages resulted from the failure of RTI to build the facility.
Meanwhile, Sogin has implemented actions for the safe maintenance and preservation of the implemented works.
To this end, a temporary cover was laid on the CEMEX working site. In order to restart the works as soon as possible, Sogin immediately divested feasible activities.
In 2019, Sogin restarted the works to complete the civil structures
of the new temporary repository (D3) of the CEMEX complex. In particular, the works were restarted, in the spring 2019, with the erecting of a provisional scaffolding, the cleaning of the reinforcement rods, already present in the building, and the qualification of the special cement matrix that will be used for the construction of the structural works. The activities have concerned the completion of the supporting structures that make up the area for handling the overpacks, maneuver room, health physics rooms, construction and waterproofing of the floor. Structural civil works were completed in March 2020.
Subsequently, on 14 July 2020 the call for tenders for the completion of the CEMEX complex was published on the Sogin website within the Procurement portal, with a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ). In particular, the activities specified in the tender concern the construction of the process building, where liquid radioactive waste will be cemented, and the installation in the annexed interim storage D3 of the equipment and auxiliary systems for the control and movement of medium-activity conditioned products.
The overall starting price value of the planned activities, to be carried out by 2023, is 128.5 million euros. Afterwards, the tests of the plant will be performed for its entry into operation.
The tender and related documentation are available on the Sogin Procurement portal.