Berlusconi pledges nuclear power within 5 years

Former premier Silvio Berlusconi said that Italy will return to using nuclear power within five years if his "People of Freedom" alliance wins the upcoming elections on 13-14 April, according to a report on the Italian daily La Repubblica.

Berlusconi pledges nuclear power within 5 years
"One of the first measures we will adopt once we are in power, is the return to using nuclear power," said the former premier.

"We have always said it, and we will now do it," he said.

Berlusconi said that Italy would also stop installing wind turbines which have been used in place of nuclear energy for the past 20 years.

When Berlusconi was prime minister in 2005, he urged Italians to embrace nuclear energy saying that "the government is preparing a study to look at the future and give the country energy reserves"

Berlusconi then lost the general elections in 2006 to now outgoing prime minister Romano Prodi.

According to La Repubblica, Berlusconi mentioned a possible "European Nuclear" [alliance], where neighbouring France would be one of its main partners, and will also involve the Italian energy giant ENI increasing its investments in countries already using nuclear energy.

Italy's ban on nuclear power dates back to 1987, when Italians voted in a referendum to close down existing power plants.

Italy has been paying for the referendum decision with energy costs higher than most other European nations.

However, Italy imports a substantial part of its electricity from France where nuclear power is one of the main sources of energy.

France has also placed many of their nuclear power plants near Italian borders, making Italy vulnerable to nuclear disasters, even though none are present on its soil.

Although nuclear power does not emit carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas accused of being the main culprit in global warming, there are major concerns about nuclear waste which can remain stable and highly reactive for years.

AKI
Last Mod: 01 Mart 2008, 11:26
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