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Italy plans to switch back to nuclear energy

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

Italy is seriously mulling over resorting to developing its nuclear energy in this crucial geopolitical conjuncture. 

On Monday, three Italian energy firms, Ansaldo Energia, Ansaldo Nuclear and Edison Spa, announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent with major French utility Electricite de France, also known as EDF.

The deal features collaboration on the development of new nuclear projects in Europe and "to open a debate" on the possible role of new nuclear power in Italy's energy transition.

Italy closed its nuclear plants in 1990 after a referendum on atomic energy held three years earlier. Following a new referendum held in 2011, when 94% of Italians again voted against the atomic option, the idea of a return to nuclear power seemed dead and buried.

However, the energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine seems to have changed people's minds in Italy. According to the latest surveys, while only 15% of Italians are fully supportive of nuclear energy, one in two Italians believe that switching back to nuclear energy could be a solution to the issue of high energy bills if safer and cleaner nuclear technology is employed.

The issue of nuclear energy came up again in Italy in 2021, particularly following the former Mario Draghi's government expressing support for the return to nuclear power in the country. This was then followed by a consensual agreement voiced by the current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.


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