Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development
Nuclear Department

The Department

ENEA’s Nuclear Department (NUC) performs research and development activities in the fields of next-generation nuclear fusion and fission energy, ionising radiation applications, radiopharmacy, environmental protection and the protection of artistic and cultural heritage assets. The Department also provides advanced services required for all-round management of the fuel cycle and security of nuclear plants. 

ENEA thus certifies various forms of technologies, methodologies and materials. It creates processes and products, builds and manages prototype plants and research infrastructures, provides advanced technical services, and fosters the transfer of technologies and general dissemination of knowledge to the production system, institutions and the public at large – all this with a view to providing the country-as-system with knowledge and methods to tackle ever greater challenges: e.g. the search for new innovative energy sources such as fusion; meeting the need to ensure adequate responses in the field of nuclear security using cutting-edge technologies, and providing safeguards against chemical, bacteriological, radiological and nuclear risks, also for the medical sector (which requires new systems for oncological treatments and the production of radiopharmaceuticals), or for safeguarding our environment and our artistic and cultural heritage assets.

The strategic objectives of the NUC department are to coordinate the national fusion program, to participate in projects, working groups, commissions in key national and international bodies and to liaise for Italy in management of major international research programmes. In particularly the EUROfusion consortium for the research activities of the Italy-EURATOM fusion programme; European Joint Fusion Programme, as Program Manager; Fusion for Energy, the EU agency in charge of the European contribution to the Broader Approach programme and construction of ITER, in which the Department acts as Industrial Liaison Officer.

On a national level, the Department acts as coordinator of the activities of the Italian fusion programme, engages in hi-tech consultancy actions for public administration bodies (in particular, for MiSE, for management of the non-proliferation protocol, and MAECI for security activities and safeguards within IAEA context). It finalizes production activities aimed at public and private operators. In coordination with other ENEA structures, NUC provides technical assistance to public administration bodies; fosters transfer of technologies developed to the national industrial system; supplies hi-tech components; backs up decommissioning actions and supports the authorities for nuclear safety. In its role of Istituto Metrologico Primario, NUC also offers advanced services consisting in calibration services for ionising radiation measurement instruments. The department carries out its activities under a quality certification system.

Recently, the activity of the NUC Department has been further extended with the design and construction of the DTT - Divertor Tokamak Test facility at the ENEA research centre of Frascati.