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Nuclear energy? Hold it!

The advertising campaigns lead Italian citizens to think that it is time to go back to the nuclear energy. The Italians have already made it clear in 1987 that they were against it and, from polls, they still remain of this opinion.

NPP

Nowadays they try to make us think that the situation has changed, that it’s right to change our minds and that Chernobyl is far away from us. Who wouldn’t like a powerful (1 kg of enriched uranium gives all the energy that an Italian needs in his entire life) and safe energy source, without any pollutants or harmful emissions in the atmosphere, inexhaustible and at a low price? But in 25 years the context related to the atomic subject actually got worse.

The technology used is basically the same as the one of the 1940s. Nuclear plants of fourth-generation don’t exist. Technological improvements didn’t prevent accidents, like the one in Tokainiura (Japan 1999), nor did they prevent the French reactors to stop because of some problems. The problem of radioactive waste has not yet been solved: not even one stockpiling site for nuclear wastes exists in the whole world. To think that one day a suitable technology will be available to solve the problem, implies leaving a burden for the future generations. A burden that no one should have.

Nobody knows where to build an atomic power station in a country, which is subject of seismic, hydro-geological and volcanic risk, densely populated and lacking plains and great rivers. An EPR station (a last-generation one) needs more than 65 m³/s of water and it is not even known if the Po river can support it during dry periods. We are left with the sea and all the imaginable problems concerning residential urbanization.

Recurring to nuclear energy is the choice of big industrial groups financially supported by banks. This choice is made without a second thought on the environment and the Italian population’s needs (in Italy the majority of the cities has declared to be denuclearized). Of course it’s fair to make money out of the nuclear energy business, but it is also allowed to make money in antipersonnel mines or weapons without it expecting any enthusiastic chorus from people.

Energetic efficiency in the production and in the final uses of energy, a better caulking of buildings (1/3 of the total consumptions, which can be reduced of 50-70%, without losses of welfare, but only by improving the constructions with better building methods and thermal insulation), the elimination of wastes, energy conservation, decentralization: these are the new commandments to follow.

Waiting, hopefully, for the nuclear energy without radioactive wastes or the hydrogen that will come.

(trad. Fiore Caprai)

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