Italy’s Affair With Nuclear Power

Italy’s Affair With Nuclear Power

By Daniele Cadore

  • Release Date : 2012-08-04
  • Genre : Politics & Current Events
  • FIle Size : 6.84 MB
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Italy’s Affair With Nuclear Power Italy’s path towards the adoption of nuclear power had been paved with ambivalent strategic goals and contradictory visions from the very beginning, since it represented a key sector for a country which was undergoing a major economic rebirth in the ‘50s. Politics initially intervened to efficiently manage the energy industry, but the political instability reflected on bad choices and mistakes, which led to a progressive withdrawal from the whole nuclear experience.
The conclusion of such a turbulent affair came with the referendum in 1987, which achieved to repeal the controversial norms adopted by the Parliament concerning some fundamental aspects of the nuclear activity. Not being able to provide with responses to the firm intention of abandoning the nuclear sector stated by voters, politics was responsible later on for creating a detachment from the needs of society, bringing the country to a very similar referendum in 2011. The analogies with the past were clearly perceivable, especially in the result of the votes: Italians wanted again to put the nuclear power in the corner once and for all.
The paper analyzes in the first instance the historical events and the political choices that shaped both the introduction of the nuclear energy and its subsequent dismissal, by looking at how history and politics worked together to determine the direction Italy was supposed to take as far as atomic energy was concerned. The interaction between political choices and their reception by public opinion is then analyzed by comparing the media coverage of the two above-mentioned referendums, to explain how the country perceived the vote, which actors played an important role and the extent of the consequences deriving from the referendums’ results.