An Interim Storage Facility (ISF) at JRC Ispra is set to host the nuclear waste from the site, including already existing waste and waste deriving from the ongoing decommissioning of the JRC Ispra nuclear installations. All nuclear waste from the Ispra site will be transported to the Italian National nuclear waste repository when this facility is completed.
The construction of the new storage facility was completed in 2013. It is authorised by the Italian authorities to host conditioned low level nuclear waste and authorisation for hosting non-conditioned waste is in progress. The first stocks of nuclear waste – mostly low level waste – are expected to be moved into the facility during 2018.
The facility meets requirements for hosting all nuclear waste already present and expected to be created at the Ispra Site until the Italian national nuclear waste repository is ready and the waste can be moved there. Nuclear waste created during 60 years of Italian and EU research will be moved to the new facility from the different nuclear facilities at the Ispra Site. New waste is also being created in the process of decommissioning of the different Ispra nuclear facilities including the two research reactors at JRC Ispra no longer operational.
Until the Italian national repository is completed, the JRC will store temporarily its own waste. This also applies to the other nuclear sites throughout Italy. The JRC's Interim Storage Facility is 120 meters long and 40 meters wide, located in the so-called Area 40 of the JRC Ispra Site, which holds all infrastructures for radioactive waste management.
Art & Spaces exhibition on nuclear decommissioning
Before the Interim Storage Facility starts operating, the JRC intends to communicate with local communities, inviting them to an event on nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management. This 'Arts & Spaces' exhibition will showcase artwork by local and international artists who will use fully decommissioned nuclear waste drums as a tool for artistic messages related to nuclear decommissioning. The exhibition will take place inside the Interim Storage Facility from 29 September to 15 October 2017.
The Ispra site was established as an Italian research centre on nuclear energy by the National Committee for Nuclear Energy, CNRN (the forerunner of today's National Institute for Research and Development of Nuclear and Alternative Energy, ENEA) at the end of the 1950s and was later handed over to the European Atomic Energy Community. It has hosted Italian and EU nuclear research for over 60 years, even though today its research activity is more diverse and nuclear research makes up a small part of it. The Ispra site hosts two research nuclear reactors, both deactivated 30 years ago, as well as other research facilities. The decommissioning of the old nuclear facilities is underway. Their buildings will be demolished in line with applicable safety regulations and the site will be free from radioactive material and residuals by the conclusion of this programme, expected to be in the mid-2030s.