Italy govt to set up nuclear safety body as part of nuclear power plans

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MILAN (Thomson Financial) - Italy's minister for economic development Claudio Scajola said the government will be setting up a nuclear safety body as part of its policy for reintroducing nuclear power generation.

In a parliamentary hearing, Scajola said the body will be 'strong and authoritative' and will seek to ensure that, as regards nuclear reintroduction, the best technologies are used, the various checks and balances are reliable and the industrial processes are the right ones.

Scajola said the government will create the conditions to allow private investors to invest in the industry.

He said the government's three-year plan already included measures on the permitting process, the siting of the power plants and the compensation for local communities living in the vicinity of the plants built.

A recent study by A2A SpA think-tank Energy Lab said that currently 24 permits would be needed to open a nuclear power plant.

Nuclear power generation was stopped by a referendum in 1987 but a subsequent government moratorium on nuclear power expired in 1992.

At a conference on Tuesday the CEO of Finmeccanica SpA unit Ansaldo Nucleare Roberto Adinolfi said that from a strictly legal point of view there is nothing to stop a nuclear power plant being built.

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