Enel statement 'Return to nuclear, an historic choice' in English

13 July 2009

NEI translates a statement from Enel on the law overturning Italy's ban on nuclear power.

The legislation changed into law by the Senate relaunches nuclear in Italy. The object is to lay the foundation of a new station by the end of the current legislature. "Over the past few years Enel has rebuilt, from outside, the culture and experience necessary to brave the challenge that today Parliament has set us," said CEO Fulvio Conti.

The legislation that the Senate passed in law by 154 votes in favour, one against and one abstention, relaunches nuclear in Italy. The objective of the government is to "lay the foundation of a new station by the end of the current legislature," said the economic development miniser Claudio Scajola. In next six months, the government has to introduce active decrees for the site selection on which the stations will be built, and for the repositories for radioactive waste. It is the first that is the most important testing ground of the new law. A commission of 10 experts "started working eight months ago with the ministry. The timeline is tight but we will keep to it," assures the minister.

In the same period CIPE [the interministerial committee for economic planning] must also rule on the type of plant and its criteria for consortia which will be entrusted the construction and management of the stations.

Also, a nuclear safety agency will be instituted. The object is the construction of a 12,000 MW series of plants, with a stimulus investment of about 35 billion. The first concrete commitment comes from the an EDF-Enel understanding agreed last February that covers the construction of four advanced third-generation stations of the EPR type of 1,600 MW each. The first will begin service in 2020.

With the Senate vote, declared ENEL CEO Fulvio Conti, Italy completes an historic decision and returns to nuclear. In the past few years, Enel has rebuilt from outside the culture and experience neccessary to deal with the challenge that Parliament has given us. We are therefore ready to do our part. The return of nuclear in Italy is a strategic opportunity for rebuilding the scientific, technological and industrial chain that is indispensible for stabilizing the costs of electrical energy generation, reducing the dependence of raw material imports and fighting climate change. The opportunity of nuclear is increased by the realisation that nuclear is indispensible for security of supply and competitive pricing, in relation to the environment. It is an occasion that we will not miss.

Enel actually has a nuclear production capacity of 5860MW with more than 4,000 specialised workers in the sector and has reconstituted from outside a nuclear culture at the highest level. In Slovakia it has been engaged through Slovenske Elektrarne in the work of installation of Russian nuclear technology (installed capacity of 1840MW, with a production of 12.2 billion kWh per year) and the construction of two new further reactors of 880MW.

In Spain, with the acquisition of Endesa, one can count on 3,640MW installed, with the production of 26 billion kWh per year, using American technology.

In France, it is participating in the construction of the first EPR (1,600MW under construction in Flamanville) with a share of 12.5% of the investment and a notable commitment of human resources. At the moment, in fact, 60 Enel engineers and technicians are participating in the project. To complete the picture of Enel in nuclear, there is the doubling of the Cernavoda nuclear plant in Romania using Canadian technology and the accord signed with Rosatom for the joint development of new stations in Russia.


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