Energy policy and nuclear energy have been neglected since more than 15 years in our Country.

It has not been sufficient the oil crisis in 1999/2000, while  the first oil  crisis in 1973 (Kippur war) led all the Industrial Nations to a deep engagement in nuclear construction at a rate of 20 power plant plants per year between ’75 and ’85, neither as been sufficient the “clima war” between UE and USA for the declaration of President George W. Bush to not ratify the Kyoto Treaty and not even the natural gas price increase, four times in then months in USA.

It has been necessary the heavy energy crisis in California, to force the United States in restarting with a power plants  programme based on coal and nuclear after 20 years.

Immediate consensus has been given to the New National Energy Plan, presented by the USA President Bush at the Convention Center in St.Paul, Minnesota May the 17th, by the UK Premier Tony Blair, while in Europe the Green Paper of the EU Commission, issued for comments at the end of 1999, suggest an energy policy based on saving, , being the majority of the Western oil well at their maximum production or even declining, should even through taxation, new renewable energies and natural gas imported from Siberia to avoid loss of energy autonomy.

However, the unavoidable future increase in oil and gas price require a doubling in the OPEC oil production and export for matching the world increased demand. And this is considered not difficult to reach, simply impossible. Therefore the Industrial Nations should  start in developing energy alternates and in particular nuclear energy. 

In our Country instead it has been stated that “Italy is “phase out” from nuclear because a popular  referendum, which is not true according article 75 of our State Chart, and that  other Nations will follow our choice. We hope and deceive ourself  that the completion of the liberalisation and privatisation process in energy sector could lead to lower energy bills. This is not likely to happen.

Yesterday  somebody, like Barry Commoner, Lester Brown or Jerry Taylor  said that “Nuclear energy is very costly”, completely untrue statement,  being  today the nuclear generation cost (average 1999 data in USA NPPs) 1.83 UScents/kWh as compared with 3.52 for gas and in France 1.48 US cents/kWh for nuclear and 3.94 for gas.  It is not easy therefore to compete!

Today general belief is that nuclear waste disposal is an insoluble problem -  this also is not true -  the general public fear the nuclear accident risks like Chernobyl, but Chernobyl was a very peculiar case, or the risk of military proliferation, but it is well known that several Countries are engaged in nuclear military programmes without a civil nuclear programme behind.

Which alternate energy sources for our future?

Not hydro power because the distance from the consumer centres.

Not oil nor gas power plants, even with the more efficient gas combined cycle, because their volatile and fast increasing prices, neither the new renewable energies, those that the Greens are proposing without success since 15 years and that Spencer Abraham, US Energy Secretary, calls “the new undiscovered energy sources”, because their high price and their intermittent nature. Completely unbelievable and irresponsible is the Green Party opposition to nuclear energy : they want fight the greenhouse effect and they are fighting thr only energy source that is, with hydro, carbon free. Lester Turow, the world MIT famous economist and Nobel Prize winner has recently written on US Today : " For electricity we have a solution at hands : the solution calls nuclear energy. The Green should admit they have been  wrong"

Two billions people do not have access to any form of commercial energy. One billion do not have drinkable water or electricity available yet and at a very low energy consumption rate – below 1.5 tep per person year – human lifetime becomes shorter and the baby mortality rate increases.

As the World Energy Council has stated, all the presently known energy sources shall be used and in particular nuclear energy since it is competitive and carbon free and shall not be abandoned for arbitrary political reasons.

Nuclear energy is the only ready available, abundant, cheap and environmentally benign energy source capable to supply sufficient energy the World will need in the future.

Nuclear energy is and will remain in the years to come the only way to supply to the Industrial Nations the energy they will need at acceptable prices as compared with oil and gas (Economy), face the World global warming (Environment) and last but not least, avoid tensions (Ethics)  on oil and natural gas markets,  leaving to the Developing Countries the energy sources, at reasonable prices, more easy for them to use. 

 Fifty years ago the Marshall Plan, after the World War II allowed Europe to be rebuilt. Today European Union together with the other Industrial Nations, having the technical and financial capabilities, have the responsibility and the honour to promote  at the imminent WEC Congress in Buenos Aires, a massive nuclear power programme as has been suggested at the last WEC Congress in Houston in 1998, for achieving a sustainable social and economic development in peace and in solidarity.

Would be this the best way to celebrate our great scientist and Nobel Prize Winner Enrico Fermi.



International Conference on 100 years since Enrico Fermi birth date

Pisa October 15th and 16th 2001