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Italy Reverses Policy, To Go Nuclear

July 12, 2008 (EIRNS)—For decades, Lyndon LaRouche has insisted that the world must go nuclear if civilization is to survive. The most recent three to four years have seen a renaissance of nuclear energy in Asia, and its beginnings in Europe and North and South America.

Now, reversing a disastrous 20-year old policy, the Italian government plans to start building nuclear power stations before the end of the current legislative session in five years, in order eventually to provide one fourth of national energy consumption through nuclear, said Adolfo Urso, Undersecretary of State for Economic Development, speaking at a national environmentalist conference in Rome on July 11. In 1987, the oligarchy organized a referendum in the wake of the Chernobyl accident, whose result was used to shut down all existing Italian plants, and bury any future nuclear program. As a result, today Italy is 80% dependent on imported oil.

In order to achieve the 25% target, 12 plants of 1 GW each will be built, said Giuseppe Zampini, CEO of the Italian nuclear-power plant builder Ansaldo Nucleare. "It is not just the question of using our engineering capabilities, but of restarting industrial production," Zampini said. Despite the fact that the Italian nuclear industry has been demolished, Italy is nevertheless able to supply up to 75% of plant components, he added.

The coal industry is also supporting the nuclear plan. According to Andrea Clavarino, head of the coal producers association Assocarboni, Italy could build four of the plants within 10 years.

The government plans to mobilize private investments, Urso said, but others have pointed out that it will be impossible to find private interests willing to invest the 30 billion euros required, with a long-range return of 10-20 years. This will be impossible without state credits. "It is not the Greens who killed nuclear energy in Italy, but liberalization, which bans state aid," said Alberto Clo, a former Minister of Industry. What Clo did not say, is that this liberalization is enforced by the European Commission.