Nuclear power in Italy will involve 350 companies

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rome, Jan 21 (IANS/AKI) Nuclear energy production in Italy will need a 30-billion euro investment now, more than two decades after the country mothballed its reactors, according to the head of the largest Italian business lobby Confindustria.

“Italy’s nuclear plan will involve 350 companies and 70 percent of the investments will be by Italians,” said Confindustria president Emma Marcegaglia at a conference here.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government in 2008 pledged to begin construction of nuclear power plants in five years but has yet to announce any sites for the new plants.

Fulvio Conti, chief executive officer of Enel SpA, joined Confindustria at the conference and Italy’s biggest power generator said it would participate in the nuclear programme.

But he said it was “absolutely premature” to discuss sites before Italy’s nuclear security agency established criteria for construction.

In 1986 Italians voted to ban nuclear power generation in a nationwide referendum after the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. The country’s businesses pay some of Europe’s highest rates for electricity, partly because of its dependence on costly natural gas and oil.


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