By Jo Nova
If Italy really does go back to nuclear power, it marks an astonishing turnaround. Italy abandoned nuclear energy 30 years ago. It’s the only major European country to have stopped using nuclear power. (Though Germany is trying to). Italy had four nuclear plants in the early 1980s but after the Chernobyl accident, they held a referendum on nuclear power, and the voters didn’t want it anymore, so they closed the last two reactors by 1990, (back in the days when voting made a difference). Furthermore, Italy held another referendum in 2011, and 94% of the voters rejected it again, which shows how desperate the situation must be now if an opinion poll like that has shifted so far in 11 years?
The thing is, Italy only makes 25% of its energy itself, and so it is suddenly very attuned to “geopolitical risk”.
by Micaela Taroni
Under the pressure of the energy crisis, however, the Italians suddenly became painfully aware of their heavy dependence on electricity from abroad. The topic moves the citizens because they clearly feel the increase in their electricity bills despite government support.
Although renewable energies have been significantly expanded in recent years, the production of green electricity is far from sufficient.
No wonder that the new government around the right-wing populist Giorgia Meloni regards the return to nuclear energy, which the Italians had renounced following a referendum in 1987, as a solution to the energy problems.
The Infrastructure Minister (who happens to lead the second largest party in the Coalition) is dead keen:
“Italy cannot be the only major country in the world without nuclear energy. We cannot talk about phasing out gas, petrol and diesel without discussing nuclear energy,” [Matteo] Salvini explained, proposing that a nuclear power plant could be built in Milan, in his Baggio district.
When environmentalists objected that Italy was a densely populated country prone to earthquakes, landslides and floods, and on whose soil it would be better not to build nuclear reactors, Salvini replied that there were 440 nuclear reactors in operation worldwide, including several in seismically active Japan and one A dozen of them in France, just over the Italian border. “Reactors of the latest generation are the safest and cleanest form of energy production, that’s the future,” assured the Lega boss.
As usual the left-leaning parties that want to reduce emissions will do anything to Not achieve that. Apparently, the big problem with nuclear power is that even though it will solve their emissions fears, it won’t meet some arbitrary committee deadline that no one else is going to meet anyway:
The Social Democrats see this “green transition” as an opportunity for the country’s economy. They oppose nuclear energy because, in their view, the timeframe and existing technologies are incompatible with a significant reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.
It’s almost like the Social Democrats are just the useless minions for the big bankers or the renewable industry. What they fear more than a climate catastrophe is the end of their fake crisis.
So the big question then, is will Italians accept a nuclear plant now?
(The translation here is just from Chrome, don’t blame Pierre! )
The World Nuclear Association has more information on Nuclear Power in Italy.
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January 1, 2023 at 01:56PM