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Minister Pichetto visited the ENEA laboratories in Frascati

Energy: Minister Pichetto, nuclear power crucial for safety and decarbonisation

The Minister for Environment and Energy Security visited the ENEA laboratories in Frascati, including the future DTT reactor.

“To enable a secure energy system and achieve decarbonisation objectives, we must move forward on the nuclear path” said the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin while visiting the ENEA Frascati Research Center, (Rome), particularly the laboratories engaged in nuclear fusion activities. “Today, I have the pleasure to thank all researchers, technicians and workers engaged in the effort of further developing research and technology in the field of nuclear energy- continued the Minister –. A crucial challenge, in line with the decarbonisation objectives, both from a qualitative point of view, because it has zero emissions, and quantitative, because it allows continuity on a global scale, overcoming the intrinsic limitations of renewables which are instead intermittent, but also from the point of view of security, concerning which ENEA stands at the forefront".

The Minister believes “we need to move forward on this path. To this aim, in September we established the Platform for sustainable nuclear power at the MASE, a stronghold of technical expertise at a national level. Our purpose is to bring together institutions, universities, research bodies and private companies around the idea of reintroducing nuclear power in Italy. In the meantime - he continued - we have the duty to conduct research and experimentation also in the field of latest generation fission as well as fusion, until we will be able to harness the infinite energy of the stars to ensure limitless clean energy. Also thanks to the contribution of Italian scientific research", he concluded.

Welcomed by ENEA President Gilberto Dialuce, Director General Giorgio Graditi, Director of the Nuclear Department Alessandro Dodaro and DDT scarl President Francesco Romanelli, the Minister attended the presentation of ENEA's research activities in the energy field and in particular nuclear fusion, with a specific reference to the Divertor Tokamak Test (DDT), an experimental facility under construction in the Frascati research center. Some international experimental infrastructures in the field of fusion physics were illustrated to the Minister, such as the Frascati Tokamak (FT) and the Frascati Tokamak Upgrade (FTU), to be replaced by the DTT, which will have to provide answers to some of the most troublesome problems  on the path to fusion.

Among other important infrastructures visited, there was the Frascati Neutron Generator (FNG), a unique facility of its kind on the international scene, capable of generating one of the most intense neutron flows in the world. Created to test materials for fusion energy reactors, the FNG is now used by research centers and international companies also for tests in the space, aeronautics, high-intensity particle accelerators sectors and for future generation fusion plants like ITER and DEMO.

The visit ended with the Divertor Laboratory, where the technology for extracting fusion power for ITER was developed and which is dedicated to developing similar technologies for DEMO and DTT.

 “The visit of the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin is a source of particular satisfaction and appreciation for us because it testifies to the importance that the Minister attributes to commitment to research and the crucial role of technological innovation, key to the growth and competitiveness of our country, in line with the objectives of the energy transition and decarbonisation", said ENEA President Gilberto Dialuce. “Our Frascati Center has a long expertise in the nuclear field and is among the largest at a national and international level for the study and development of fusion, laser sources, superconductivity and particle accelerators in strong synergy with the national industry".

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