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Energy: The design of the first fusion power plant up to 500 MW is under way

The engineering design of the first fusion demonstration power plant capable of safely and sustainably producing 300-500 MW of electrical power around mid-century has begun. Called DEMO (Demonstration Fusion Power Reactor), the plant will be able to meet the annual needs of around 1.5 million households. This was announced in Brussels by the EUROfusion Consortium – comprising 21 Italian organisations coordinated by ENEA, including the Institute for Plasma Science and Technology of the National Research Council (CNR-Istp) and the RFX Consortium – at the launch conference of Horizon EUROfusion, the new European fusion research programme co-funded by the European Commission through Euratom.

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Energy: 3°C cooler in the home in the summer with green roofs and walls

A reduction in the indoor temperature during the summer of up to 3°C thanks to “green insulation” consisting of plants on the roofs and walls of buildings, which reduces heat flow by almost 50% through the shading and transpiration of plants arranged to protect against solar radiation. These are some of the latest findings of the ENEA project entitled “Green infrastructure to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the quality of the microclimate in urban areas”, financed under the Programme Agreement for Electricity System Research 2019-2021 of the Ministry of Economic Development, now under the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

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Health: Medulloblastoma, the results of an ENEA project supported by AIRC for a new therapeutic approach

A group of ENEA researchers has tested a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of medulloblastoma, the most frequent brain tumour in paediatric age, as part of the NANOCROSS project supported by the AIRC Foundation for Cancer Research. The results obtained, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, are based on the use of engineered plant viruses as vehicles for the targeted administration of chemotherapy drugs, capable of selectively reaching the tumour, reducing drug doses and its side effects.

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Health: Radiopharmaceuticals, in Nature an innovative ENEA approach to develop national production

Developing a national supply chain of plants to produce radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis. This is the innovative approach described by ENEA researchers in the international journal Nature on the safe, sustainable production of Molybdenum (99Mo), the radioisotope precursor of technetium-99 (99mTc), the most widely used element in the world in nuclear medicine for SPECT-type diagnostics. Around 30 million are performed each year, with a global market worth around $8 billion.

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Climate: Hot Mediterranean, +4° above seasonal averages

Increasingly hot temperatures in the Mediterranean are setting off alarms in the region: since 10 May the "mare nostrum" has been hit by a heat wave that has raised the sea surface temperature by around 4°C compared to the average for the period 1985-2005, with peaks of over 23°C. This is what emerged from the first results of the CAREHeat (deteCtion and threAts of maRinE Heat waves) project financed by the European Space Agency (ESA), in which ENEA and CNR are participating for Italy, CNR in the role of coordinator.

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Environment: Increased risk of mortality in Rome and Milan due to high temperatures and pollution

By 2050 the mortality risk in Rome and Milan will respectively rise by 8% and 6% due to a combination of rising temperatures caused by climate change and the concentration of pollutants in the air, such as ozone and PM10. This is what emerges from a study by 11 ENEA researchers from four different laboratories[1] published by Science Direct.

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Real estate: energy quality of buildings in Italy improved in 2021

The desire for less energy-consuming homes is on the rise. The number of properties sold in the best performing energy classes grew in 2021 and there is a 30% of purchases of new buildings in class A1, in view of a stability of the energy quality of buildings and houses, which however are still far from the objectives set by the European Union for 2030. This is what emerges from the analysis on the monitoring of the dynamics of the real estate market according to the energy characteristics of buildings, conducted by ENEA, I-Com (Institute for Competitiveness) and Fiaip (Italian Federation of Professional Real Estate Agents), on a sample of over 600 Fiaip professional real estate agents for nine years

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Environment: ENEA air quality prediction system joins the EU Copernicus consortium

The European air quality monitoring system has one more ally, this time 100% Italian: the ENEA system for analysing and forecasting air pollution, MINNI, has joined the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service consortium (CAMS2_40) managed by the European Centre for Medium-term Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Commission.

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Energy: ENEA researcher on the board of Hydrogen Europe Research

ENEA researcher Viviana Cigolotti, 41, has been elected to the board of Hydrogen Europe Research, an association that brings together 108 international research institutions and is dedicated to energy development in the field of hydrogen. Viviana Cigolotti will be responsible for the Technical Committee in the field of hydrogen end-uses for stationary and industrial applications.

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Cultural heritage: ENEA special online with key actors and solutions for restoration and development

Interview with Minister Franceschini, “with the NRRP, the rediscovered centrality of culture” “Culture plays a critical role in the NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), demonstrating its rediscovered centrality. Investing in culture is a great lever of our economic policy, it’s a fundamental fact that ensures that we will continue along this path in the coming years, guaranteeing culture the resources it needs to become the fulcrum of Italy's sustainable growth and job creation”. These are the words of Culture Minister Dario Franceschini in an interview for the new issue of the ENEA Energia Ambiente e Innovazione magazine entitled “Science, Technology, Research: the great Alliance for Art” and published for the International Restoration Exhibition in Ferrara (8-10 June 2022).

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