Skip to main content

Italy Nuclear Update

Why is Italy thinking twice about the decision the nation made back in 1987 about the future use of nuclear energy?
One of the main effects of the anti-nuclear stance is that Italy depends heavily on oil and natural gas bought in other countries, with total energy imports estimated at about 15% of its total requirements.

According to a 2005 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Italy is in fact the worldÂ’s largest energy importer ahead of Germany, Brazil and the US.
This, in turn means Italians pay the highest electricity bills in Europe – 14.6 euro cents per kilowatt/hour compared to a European average of 10 cents and just 5.6 cents in Greece.
Technorati tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Paul said…
In fact, Italy gets the bulk of its electricity from all the surplus nuclear power generated in France, hence the reason for the most expensive electricity.

We are closely following the Berlesconi effort to site a nuclear waste dump in Scanzano for all of Italy's nuclear waste from its nuclear industry retired by the Chernobyl accident plus the fuel rods from the Elk River nuclear power station which somehow wound up in Italy. More than 200,000 southern Italians mobilized and occupied the propose site within two weeks of its announcement and squelched the dump effort.
Paul Primavera said…
Paul Gunter,

The alternative to using nuclear energy and having a small repository for its 'waste' is dumping millions of tons of green house gases into the atmosphere every year for replacement fossil fuel power. These more than 200,000 Italians (if the number is to be believed) would rather choke on their own wastes than to use a small amount of area for a respository - to use your own phrase, more poisons dumped into the environment.
David Bradish said…
Paul,

In fact, Italy does NOT get the bulk of its electricity from France. It actually gets it from Switzerland, 50% to be exact. France only contributes 35% to Italy. 43% of the electricity in Switzerland comes from nuclear.

Here are the electric retail prices for households in some European countries:

Italy - .17 euros / kWh
France - .11 euros / kWh
Switzerland - .11 euros / kWh
Germany - .16 euros / kWh
Greece - .09 euros / kWh
UK - .08 euros / kWh

Before you assume that electricity prices are high in Italy because of nuclear, you need to check what the other costs of electricity were in the countries supplying the electricity.

If France and Switzerland's electricity costs were as high as Italy's, your claim would be correct but that's not the case.

All my stats are from IEA's Electricity Information book.

David
Starvid said…
The reason power is expenisve in Italy is not due to them importing nuclear power from France, since power would then also be expensive in France, which it isn't.

Italy gets a very large part of it's power from pricy oil and natural gas. http://www.iea.org/Textbase/stats/PDF_graphs/ITELEC.pdf

Without the Swiss and French imports prices would be even higher.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…