Skip to comments.Italy to Reverse Policy and Build Nuclear Power Stations: Minister
Posted on 05/22/2008 10:37:47 PM PDT by anymouse
The Italian government said Thursday it would begin building nuclear power stations, reversing a 20-year ban in an initiative likely to spark strong resistance and take a long time to come to fruition.
"During the term of this parliament, we will lay the first stone for the construction in our country of a group of new-generation nuclear power stations," Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola told the Italian employers' federation Confindustria.
"We can no longer avoid an action plan for a return to nuclear power," he said, recalling a campaign pledge by Italy's newly named right-wing prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to take such a step.
"Only nuclear power stations can produce energy on a large scale, in a secure way at competitive costs and one that respects the environment."
A decision to abandon nuclear power was taken in a 1987 referendum following the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986. The country's four nuclear plants operating at the time were shut down.
But Confindustria head Emma Marcegaglia said the time has now come "to invest in nuclear energy" as the country has become too dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas.
Following the Confindustria meeting, Fulvio Conti, head of Italy's principal power group Enel, said his company was "technically ready" to take part in the initiative, the Ansa news agency reported.
"It's a good start on the part of the government, which confirms the need to diversify (energy) sources and to invest in infrastructure," he said. The Italian government controls a 30 percent stake in Enel.
Conti last month said it would likely take "seven to 10 years for a new nuclear generator to come online."
Italy has suffered occasional power shortages in recent years, due in part to problems with its electricity distribution network.
In September 2003, the entire country was hit by a power cut because of problems with the supply of electricity bought from Switzerland.
As with other countries in Europe, Italy buys power at peak periods from neighbours, including France where most electricity is nuclear generated.
In the winter of 2006 the government had to impose economy measures and tapped into its strategic reserves in the face of an interruption in Russian gas supplies.
Italy depends on foreign sources for 87 percent of its energy needs. Oil accounts for 43 percent and gas 36 percent of its energy use.
Russia and Algeria along account for 67 percent of Italy's gas needs. Sixty percent of the country's electricity output is powered by gas, according to Enel.
A return to the nuclear option promises to be long and complicated, not least because of expected political and activist opposition.
"The creation of a body to manage nuclear power, the authorisation to build a facility and the construction of the first plant means that the first station would have trouble becoming operational before 2020," Edison, another Italian energy group, said recently.
The government's announcement Thursday sparked criticism from groups such as Legambiente, the country's leading environmental defence association, which pledged to mount "very determined" opposition and questioned where the government would get the money to finance its nuclear ambitions.
"Mr. Scajola speaks of a new generation reactor, suggesting that it would be the fourth generation, which is still at an embryonic stage," said Legambiante president Vittorio Cogliati Dezza.
"Those reactors, if all goes well, would be ready 20 to 25 years from now."
Ermete Realacci, environmental spokesman for the leftist Democrat Party: "To return to nuclear power in Italy in five years time (the life of the current parliament) is a political statement."
It is not just our liberals though they deserve the bulk of the blame. It is also due to our conservatives/Republicans who do not hold the left responsible for being energy Luddites. Gas prices would not be where they are today if we had authorized the building of more refineries and authorized more domestic drilling. Also if we had upgraded our nuclear power plants and built new ones then we could have moved toward electric vehicle alternatives.
The truth is the goal of the enviro-mental-left is not clean energy it is to control and limit human population and human consumption. Liberals want to control your economic resources. Even if Hummers were one hundred percent pollution free you can bet they’d find a reason not to like them because they aren’t little emaciated ugly looking things like the Toyota Prius. (Why is it that “green” cars have to be so dorky? Is that their target demographic?) Lifting up weakness and degeneracy is what the left does. They behave like children never taught not to be proud to have crapped in their pants.
Italy is also going to jail illegals for 4 years and deport, now they are building nuke plants. I wish we had the balls.
Everyone is figuring it out.........but us. We’ll be trapped in another horse and cart age through the efforts of the greenies and gutless politicians.
RE-ELECT NO ONE !
“The Italian government said Thursday it would begin building nuclear power stations, reversing a 20-year ban in an initiative likely to spark strong resistance and take a long time to come to fruition.
“During the term of this parliament, we will lay the first stone for the construction in our country of a group of new-generation nuclear power stations,” Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola told the Italian employers’ federation Confindustria. “
France has been getting 80% of their energy from nuclear power for a long time, now Italy is realizing that nuclear energy is the only realistic alternative to oil and gas, but the US Congress mandates ethanol, but doesn’t allow nuclear power plants and drilling our domestic oil resources. Looks like other Western countries like France and Italy are coming into the 21st century, while the US is going backwards, crashing its own economy and insistent on becoming an impoverished, third world country. What do the Democrats think will happen when our energy needs are not being met?
And just wait until Obama will become president.
Yes they are! and they also drive fossil fuel cars. liberals should be forced to ride bikes only or solar cars.