Energy companies Enel and EDF have signed a Memoranda of Understanding to form a 50:50 joint venture to investigate the feasibility of constructing four new nuclear reactors in Italy.
Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, Italy rejected nuclear power in a referendum, which led to the closure of all the country’s plants.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi now looks set to embark on a revival of nuclear power with plans to resume construction on nuclear power plants. Enel and EDF could have the first new nuclear facility up and running by 2020.
“Enel is pleased to have an industrial partner with the experience and internationally-recognised reputation of EDF for the re-launching of nuclear power in Italy,” commented Enel CEO Fulvio Conti in a statement.
The new plants will be European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs), the first of which is currently being built in Normandy by EDF. Enel also has a small share in the project.
The two companies will also expand their collaboration in France, with the potential for five new EPRs – starting with a plant at Penly recently given the go ahead by the French authorities.
Other countries that previously ruled out nuclear power and now also backtracking. Sweden recently announced plans to lift a thirty-year ban on building new nuclear plants, while Poland also has plans to construct two nuclear power stations by 2025.
Meanwhile France, Finland and the UK also have plans for new or replacement nuclear facilities in coming years.
Source: Energy Efficiency News