An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team said Italy is committed to effective nuclear regulatory oversight, but faces challenges related to resources and needs to further develop policies for nuclear safety, decommissioning and managing radioactive waste. The 12-day mission, which assessed Italy’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety, was hosted by the Italian government and the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).

The 18-member IRRS team said Italy has a regulatory framework for safety in place and identified several good practices. A new regulatory body, the Inspectorate for Radiation Safety and Radiation Protection, will be in place in the near future. The IRRS team said the government should provide the regulatory body with “sufficient competent staff” to carry out its responsibilities and duties and the regulatory body should develop an “integrated management system”.

Team leader Ingemar Lund, senior adviser of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, said: "During our IRRS mission, strong leadership in safety and a very committed staff was evident. We hope our recommendations can contribute to further development of the Italian system for the regulation of protection and safety." The final IRRS mission report will be submitted to the Italian government in about three months, the IAEA said. The Italian authorities have said they will make the report's executive summary public.

Italy operated four NPPs from the early 1960s, but decided to phase out nuclear power in a referendum that followed the 1986 Chernobyl accident. It closed its last two operating plants, Caorso NPP and Trino Vercellese NPP, in 1990. Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari (Sogin) was established in 1999 to take responsibility for decommissioning Italy's former nuclear power sites and locating a national waste store. Italy has five research reactors and uses radioactive sources in medical, industrial and research applications. The government plans to construct a facility for disposal of low-level and intermediate-level radioactive waste and long-term storage of high-level waste.