Nuclear back on the agenda

1 January 2003

A draft law that would allow Italian utilities to take part in foreign nuclear enterprises is being considered by the Italian parliament.

The draft has been approved by the Council of Ministers, following parliamentary approval of proposals for Italy to reconsider the nuclear option. It also raises the prospect of a future return to the use of nuclear power in Italy.

The draft law looks at the "possibility" of allowing Italian power utilities to participate in foreign nuclear enterprises, and for the government to "release one or more decrees to resolve problems relating to standards, regulations and licensing procedures that are related to decommissioning and to the issue of radioactive waste disposal." If the draft law is approved, it will then be passed to the Upper House.

However, industry minister Antonio Marzano was insistent that the safe decommissioning of nuclear plants and radioactive waste disposal remain "preliminary" requirements to the "admission of nuclear among energy choices".

Italy outlined plans for the decommissioning of its four nuclear power plants and to establish a national waste repository almost three years ago.



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