The removal of equipment on the ‘head’ of the vessel at the Garigliano power plant begins

30 November 2023


Work began yesterday at the Garigliano (Caserta) power plant to remove the equipment placed above the vessel, namely, the steel container in which the nuclear reaction took place during operation. 

The work to be performed by Sogin and its subsidiary Nucleco inside the reactor building consists of four main phases. In the first phase, which is currently in progress, the inner part of the vessel is flooded. In the second phase, the upper part of the vessel (known as the ‘head’) will be opened. This allows water to flow out and fill the reactor channel until the vessel inside it is completely submerged. The equipment on the head of the vessel can then be removed. This will be done remotely and under water, a natural element that shields radiation and allows technicians to proceed safely.


By the end of the process, the equipment removed, with a total weight of 1 tonne, will be placed in special cylindrical containers, which will be stored in the site's temporary repositories prior to their transfer to the National Repository as soon as it is available. 

Before starting the work, Sogin had to carry out a series of preparatory activities that included restoring all the reactor building’s auxiliary systems for electric power, ventilation, automation and control, and also the reactor channel flooding circuit. 

The work is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2024. Sogin will then begin dismantling the vessel and the systems and components of the reactor building known as internals. This activity is performed in the final phase of the decommissioning of the Campania power plant, the most complex step in terms of engineering and operations. 

The dismantling of the Garigliano power plant will produce a total of approximately 268,000 tonnes of materials. Of these, approximately 96%, mostly consisting of metals and concrete, will be sent for recovery.