Italy: Citizens' proposal triggers referendum against nuclear power

IandRgb mm at
Thu Jan 13 20:19:48 GMT 2011

Italy can hold nuclear referendum
13 January 2011

A ruling by Italy's Constitutional Court makes possible a referendum on 
the partial repeal of laws allowing the construction of new nuclear 
power plants.

  The Constitutional Court decision is the culmination of a process that 
began with the April 2010 proposal for a referendum from centrist 
political party Italia dei Valori (Italy of Values). A petition by the 
party successfully gathered the 500,000 signatures of Italian voters 
needed for the referendum to proceed through the Italian legislative 
system. This was presented to the Constitutional Court for it's final 
ruling on the admissibility of the proposed referendum. Italia dei 
Valori leader Antonio Di Pietro is an outspoken opponent of nuclear power.
According to the Italian Nuclear Forum, the referendum would be held on 
a Sunday between 15 April and 15 June this year, with the exact date to 
be announced by the president of Italy after consideration by the 
Council of Ministers.

Italy chose to phase out nuclear power in a 1987 referendum, and has not 
operated a nuclear power plant since 1990. However in recent years the 
country has been moving back towards nuclear power production. A change 
in government policy in 2008 marked the beginning of plans for a program 
of nuclear construction to reduce the country's dependence on oil, gas 
and imported power. Currently four large reactors are proposed by the 
utility Enel in cooperation with Electricité de France, while other 
European utilities are highly interested in the emerging nuclear market.

The proposed referendum concerns the partial repeal of several laws 
introduced since 2008 to enable the construction of new Italian nuclear 
power plants to go ahead. Legislative referenda in Italy require a 
quorum of over 50% of all eligible voters to cast their vote in order to 
be valid. This is one of the highest quora in Europe, and no Italian 
legislative referendum has been able to reach it in over a decade.

Forwarded by

I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain

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