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General legislation

Decree No. 31/2010 for the siting and operation of facilities for the production of nuclear power

On 15 February 2010, the Italian Council of Ministers issued Legislative Decree No. 31/2010 (hereinafter the “decree”) for the siting and operation of facilities for the production of nuclear and electric power, the fabrication of nuclear fuel and storage systems of irradiated fuel and radioactive waste as well as the creation of a decommissioning fund, compensation measures and information campaigns.

The decree, published in Official Gazette No. 55 on 8 March 2010, entered into force on 23 March 2010.

The decree implements Article 25 of Law 23 July 2009 No. 99 to the extent that it introduces a new legal framework in connection with the siting and operation of nuclear facilities in Italy. It is composed of 35 articles divided into 5 sections.

  1. The new licensing process for the siting and the authorisation of new nuclear power plants can be divided into five steps:


    1. A nuclear strategy will be defined by the Italian Government 90 days following the entry into force of the legislative decree. The nuclear strategy will deal, inter alia, with the importance of nuclear energy to meet Italy’s goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, to ensure security of supply and to provide for lower and more reliable energy costs.


    2. Parameters of technical-environmental criteria for site selection indicated in the decree will be proposed by the Nuclear Safety Agency and submitted for public consultation.


    3. A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) will be run by the Ministry of Environment on the nuclear strategy and parameters of technical environmental criteria.


    4. A site certification phase will be run by the Nuclear Safety Agency on sites proposed by operators, according to the SEA outcome. The Government will submit the sites certified under technical criteria for consultation and agreement with concerned regions and municipalities.


    5. An application for a combined authorisation (construction and operation) will be submitted by the Ministry for Economic Development after technical assessment by the Nuclear Safety Agency. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPCC) procedures will be run by the Ministry of Environment. Those ministers will release the single authorisation by decree.


  2. The legislative decree further provides for compensation which shall be paid by the authorisation holder and companies involved in the construction.


  3. The legislative decree provides for the creation of a decommissioning fund:


    1. It establishes an external fund, owned by a public body and fed by the authorisation holder’s annual contribution for each operating year of the facility.


    2. The amount of the contribution is determined by the Independent Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG), following a proposal by the public entity in charge of decommissioning (Sogin) and the Nuclear Safety Agency’s advice.


    3. If, at the end of the plant life-cycle, the decommissioning fund is not adequate, the operator has to integrate it.
    4. The decommissioning of the facilities will be carried out by Sogin which, at the end of the plant’s life-cycle, will be in charge of its safety management.


  4. The legislative decree also provides for the siting and realisation of a national disposal facility:


    1. Sogin creates a technological park where a national disposal project will be realised, which will be used as final repository for low and medium level radioactive waste and temporary long-term storage for the high-level radioactive waste and spent fuel.


    2. Compensation has to be paid by Sogin to the area where the technological park is located. The compensation shall be proportional to the radioactive waste placed in the disposal facility.


    3. The procedures of licensing for siting, construction and operating are similar to those provided for new nuclear power plants.


    4. Charges for the delivery of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel to the national disposal facility are fixed annually by the AEEG based on the costs estimated by Sogin.


  5. The decree finally enables the Government to issue by ministerial decree the programme for the national information campaign which sets out financial needs, resources, content of messages and subjects involved in implementing the information campaign.

Related links

Nuclear Legislation in OECD Countries: Italy
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities
Each country profile in this valuable reference work provides a detailed review of a full range of nuclear law topics. These include: the general regulatory regime, including mining; radioactive substances and equipment; nuclear installations; trade in nuclear materials; radiation protection; radioactive waste management; non-proliferation and physical protection; transport; and nuclear third party liability. This profile was last updated in 2001.

Nuclear facts and figures for OECD countries
Number of nuclear units connected to the grid; Nuclear electricity generation (net TWh); Nuclear percentage of total electricity supply.

IEA energy statistics: Italy
Data is available in the following areas: coal, oil and gas use; electricity production, supply and consumption; heat production, supply and consumption; and graphs of sectorial final consumption by source.

The Decommissioning and Dismantling of Nuclear Facilities in OECD/NEA Member Countries: Italy
This compilation of national fact sheets is intended to serve as an authoritative source of reference information on individual NEA member countries. In this context, the term "nuclear facility" includes all facilities associated with the production of nuclear power, from mining of uranium, through fabrication of nuclear fuel, nuclear power plant operation, fuel reprocessing and waste management, including related R&D facilities, and research and demonstration reactors.

Related NEA publications

Nuclear Energy Data
Nuclear Energy Data is the NEA’s annual compilation of essential statistics on electricity generation and nuclear power in OECD countries. The reader will have quick and easy reference to the status of and projected trends in total electricity generating capacity, nuclear generating capacity, and actual electricity production, as well as to supply and demand for nuclear fuel cycle services.

Last reviewed: 7 May 2010