Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mambo Italiano: Nuclear Energy in Italy?

It certainly seems likely:

Enel SpA. plans to build a nuclear power plant in Italy to take advantage of a possible legislative shift in Italy making nuclear power production legal, Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing chief executive Fulvio Conti.

This would be a big change: nuclear energy has been banned in Italy since 1987. The reason for the change would apparently be the mandate voters handed to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which allows him to go out on a few limbs politically:

Silvio Berlusconi, the head of a right-wing coalition that earlier this month won general elections, advocates the reintroduction of nuclear power and believes it could take five years to build a power plant.

That might be optimistic, unless Italy is far less encumbered by regulation than the United States. Enel projects that it would take seven to ten years to get a plant up and running; that seems more plausible.

Well, if this comes together, that's one more European country to take a shine to nuclear energy. Now to tackle Germany's Nuclear Exit Law.

3 comments:

djysrv said...

Politicans are always more optimistic than engineers. Also, Italy isn't shy about buying electricity produced with nuclear energy in France. Still, it's a positive development.

http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2008/03/italy-may-lift-ban-on-nuclear-energy.html

Luke said...

Keep in mind that it certainly won't take several years to "get a plant up and running" in Italy - several plants already exist, they were just closed down in the late '80s and 1990 - and once that political decision is made, they can be restarted.

Matthew66 said...

Restarting a nuclear power plant that has been shut for the better part of twenty years is not an easy task. It took TVA and Bechtel five years to restart Brown's Ferry 1. While certainly it's possible, it might in fact be cheaper to build a new one.