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Italy allocates EUR 135m for modular nuclear research

Italy’s government has allocated EUR 135m for research mainly involving small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), as the nation aims to revive its nuclear industry, the energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

In May, Italy’s parliament reversed a decades-long nuclear ban, allowing the government to include nuclear power in the national energy mix to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

The government plans to build as many as seven nuclear plants with 35 GW of combined capacity by 2050.

“It’s an important source of energy, and we must create the conditions to be able to become producers of nuclear energy given Italy’s goal of achieving energy self-sufficiency,” said the energy minister, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, in the statement.

The “nuclear platform”, a group the government formed in September to coordinate all companies and authorities in the nuclear sector regarding production, waste management and safety measures is now operational, the statement added.

The group aims to establish guidelines on the development of the nation’s nuclear industry towards small nuclear modules, although the ministry said it is “open to considering all forms of technology”.

Earlier this year, a group of parliamentarians told Montel that Italy’s energy targets, which include a revised 131 GW of renewables output by 2030, were difficult to achieve without additional resources such as nuclear.

In 1990, Italy shut down its four operating nuclear power plants that covered 6% of domestic power demand following a referendum.

Source: Montel News