Cnr expert: “Zaporizhzhia puts security back at the center”

Paolo De Natale (Cnr-Ino): “With the never before occurrence of a war in progress in the area where a power plant operates”

“The question of central Zaporizhzhia, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world, puts the safety of nuclear power plants back at the center. With the never-before occurrence of a war in progress in the area where a power plant operates. It is necessary to understand how to manage nuclear reactors in emergency conditions since radioactive losses can compromise even very large territories if the accidents are significant ”. So to Adnkronos Paolo De Natale, research director of the National Institute of Optics of the National Research Council (Cnr-Ino).

Regarding the visit of the Aiea delegation to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, “the problem is to understand if the reactors are working safely, if the cooling is in place and that all the plant is functioning” as well as verifying that “there is technical staff in able to manage this plant and that in the continuous handover the professionalism and competence for risk management is preserved “.

Looking at the safety issue in perspective, the attention goes to the question decommissioning of nuclear power plants. “There is a related issue: how to manage power plants that are going into disuse, also considering the high costs of this operation. We as Cnr have worked with the Jrc-Joint Research Center in Karlsruhe (Germany), the research center of the European Commission for issues related to nuclear energy, to develop a methodology for the precise measurement of even very low levels of radiation that allows differentiate the various materials of the plant according to the level of contamination. As for the reinforced concrete itself, for example, through this technology it would be possible to understand which parts of the plant are really contaminated by radiation and therefore need to be dismantled with expensive processes and which are manageable in a simpler and much cheaper way “.

An important issue since “there are many power plants in the world and also in Europe that need renovation or dismantling and it is essential to understand how to do it safely and in an economically sustainable way”.