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Italy Just Became The Latest Country To Abandon Nuclear Power

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 12:54 PM
Original message
Italy Just Became The Latest Country To Abandon Nuclear Power
Source: Business Insider

Italian voters turned out to reject nuclear energy in a referendum today. With 83% of the vote counted, it has been projected that the country will join Germany and abandon plans for nuclear energy, Reuters reports.

Italy abandoned nuclear power in 1987 after the Chernobyl meltdown. The continuing disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan is renewing the fears of Italian environmentalists.

... The vote was widely seen as a poll on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was a strong proponent of nuclear energy.

"Following the decision the Italian people are taking at this moment, we must probably say goodbye to the possibility of nuclear power stations and we must strongly commit ourselves to renewable energy," Berlusconi said...

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/italy-nuclear-power-2011...



Berlusconi has been pushing for 25% of Italy's generation to come from nuclear power and 25% from renewables. This is a positive economic move by Italy as the focus on renewables means clear, unambiguous policies to promote renewables will be put into place. There is no more effective policy move to speed adoption than that type of regulatory certainty.

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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, kristopher.
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Where's OUR referendum???
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Maybe we can do it when Mexico gets a nuclear program running
and we can import our electricity while pretending to oppose its generation.
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plumbob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Why don't we do it now? Wind provided 25% of Texas electricity while
oil, gas, coal, and nuclear plants were shut down due to their intake pipes freezing, making dozens of them unable to operate (no water, no steam).

Texas is now completing three new large transmission lines which will allow the 1/3 of wind plants already built to come online.

There's a 300 acre wind farm 5 minutes from my house that provides enough electricity for 44,000 homes, by a coincidence, the size of my town of 100,000 people.

Go out and watch the blades turn at 2 mph just generating electricity with no fuel being burned of any kind.

BTW, the wind farms in Japan did perform and are performing flawlessly even at this moment while they're swimming in a nuclear cesspool.

Wind is right here, right now, proven and operating. And clean.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. We have a large system and it is going to take some time...
...but we are actually making some progress. The thing to watch for is the cost of solar at the utility scale. It is already competitive with natural gas for peaking power in many markets (even in places like New Jersey) and it is expected to be less expensive than new coal by 2020.

What pushes the price down is more manufacturing capacity and China is building factories for solar at a breakneck pace. Google "Sunshot" and look for links to government sites (EERE or NREL) for information on the expectations in this area. By 2030 things are going to be totally different (and better) than they are now. We should be starting then to aggressively shut down the large centralized generating sources like coal and nuclear.
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plumbob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I pay 6 cents per kwh for my nice clean wind power. And I live in the middle
of the oilpatch, where many of the pumpjacks use electric from the wind as well.

These things can be mounted and wired in less than 6 months and produce enough electricity for a town of 100,000 homes.

Really, no need to wait.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. we aren't waiting...
It is good to hear from someone who is close to the front lines on this, but the scale of the undertaking is huge. We need to multiply the renewable generation we now have by about 60X. That is going to take some time. We COULD do it in 10-15 years if the political will were there, but it isn't. That is why China is so important. All the previous pessimism was based on us being the driving force in cost reductions and the politicized nature of the transition was holding us back to a crawl. The decision by China to place renewables at the heart of their developing energy system has given the entire effort an Atlas Rocket level boost.

Keep pushing for change though. We need every voice we can muster to counter the paid efforts of the fossil and nuclear industries.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Nuclear power is not able to compete economically.
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demigoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
21. Where's OUR referendum???? We don't get no referendum.
We are land of the free and the brave, we don't get no referendum.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. They're the latest. We'll be the last.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. Italy is one of the largest importers of electric power in Europe.
They get most of their electricity from France, where it comes from nuclear power plants.

They haven't "abandoned" anything, they just pay for the privilege of having another party produce it for them.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Yep. Lots of countries supposedly opposed to Nuclear buy it from France.
I guess it's OK, if it's across the border or something.


Over the last decade France has exported 60-80 billion kWh net each year and EdF expects exports to continue at 65-70 TWh/yr, to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and UK. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.html
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. Viva Italia!
Germany, Italy and Japan.

The new leaders for the 21st Century. Who knew?
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. More like Viva la France!
They're more than happy to take up the slack with their clean and safe nuclear program.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. The French don't like nuclear power either.
They are concerned about safety and costs, and they also want to move to renewables. However that is extremely problematic for them because they've allowed their nuclear priesthood to become one of the strongest forces in their government.

According to the German Environment Ministry Germany is not going to purchase more nuclear from France (see below). There is no reason to think that the renewable path will cause Italy to import any more power than the nuclear path; in fact, since renewables are less expensive and take less time to deploy it will probably result in an aggregate reduction in imports and cost relative to the nuclear path.

Ironically, the conservative Merkel government has proposed the exit policy implemented by the previous red-green government of Social Democrats and the Greens. Merkel's conservative party rose to power in part on a platform of extending the operation of the existing reactors. Her policy on extending the reactors operating lives was tabled shortly before the Fukushima accident. The policy reversal is historic not only in Germany, but worldwide.

Critics of the reversal have charged that:
Germany will suffer power outages
Germany will import nuclear power from other countries, notably France
Germany will build massive new coal plants to make up the shortfall

The analysis by the German environment agency was undertaken to specifically examine these questions. They concluded that Germany can close the reactors within five years and do so:
Without power outages
Without importing nuclear power from other countries
Without building new coal plants
With only a modest increase in the cost of electricity

...To the surprise of many critics of Germany's renewable energy program, the country is not a net importer of electricity. In recent years, Germany has been a net exporter of generation...

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/20...
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diane in sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Great article Kristopher--deserves a post of its own.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. Wow, cool. I wish the US was civilized enough to vote that, too. nt
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sabbat hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. until they can get renewables up and online
and replace the amount lost by not using nuclear, they will end up using more fossil fuel plants, most likely coal.


Nuclear should not be abandoned so quickly. Until renewable sources of energy (geothermal, wind, water, solar) are up and online to replace nuclear power plants those nuclear power plants are needed.
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. They will continue to run for decades beyond their design just
because of the cost to decommission them. No new nukes should be built, however.
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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. "first they came for the isotopes"
Edited on Mon Jun-13-11 01:13 PM by meow mix
:toast:
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. +1
:rofl:

PB
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
20. Recommend
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
23. K&R





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