Italy Plans an Energy U-Turn, A Comeback to Nuclear Power as Green Energies “Far from Sufficient”

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin

 Symbol photo. Grafenrheinfeld power plant, Germany – 2013, Avda – Own work. CC BY-SA 3.0

Italy is planning an energy U-turn reports, the Berliner Morgenpost:

“So while Germany is saying goodbye to the use of nuclear energy, the technology is making a comeback in Italy, where people turned away from it almost 40 years ago. This is more than noteworthy, since Italy is so far the only major European country besides Germany that has abandoned the use of nuclear energy. Under the pressure of the energy crisis, however, the Italians have suddenly become painfully aware of their heavy dependence on electricity from abroad. The issue is moving citizens because they are clearly feeling the inflation of their electricity bills, despite government aid.”

Expect many countries to follow Italy’s course correction – except for Germany, which will obstinately cling to its wind and solar ideology to the very end even though a growing number of experts are calling for an extension of the operating times of its remaining nuclear plants.

The Berliner Morgenpost adds that Italy produces only 25 percent of the energy it needs itself. “Although renewable energies have been significantly expanded in recent years, the production of green electricity is far from sufficient.”

Surely nuclear power plants would provide a much needed energy boost for Italy. Whether the country can do away completely with fossil fuels, remains doubtful, however.


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Tom Halla
December 31, 2022 6:08 pm

It would be so wrong to doxx Green politicians, so everyone knows who to blame when the power goes out. Pitchforks and torches are so very primitive!

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 31, 2022 7:03 pm

But can be effective in front of one’s house en masse.

Elliot W
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 31, 2022 8:33 pm

As long as those pitchforks are mostly peaceful!

Tom Halla
Reply to  Elliot W
December 31, 2022 8:35 pm

Strictly symbolic and metaphoric!

Reply to  Elliot W
January 1, 2023 8:32 am

But the torches, not so much, like in the US during the riots in 2020.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 1, 2023 2:36 am

Hi Jannifer, Tried to read your article for more details, but I was blocked by AVG as it said the article contained malware

Reply to  alradlett
January 1, 2023 2:42 am

Not worth bothering about. It’s only offering $10-$12k each week. Chickenfeed.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 2, 2023 6:41 am

Power isn’t going out today in France.
The first day of 2023, max electric consumption was a meager 39 GW. Global warming works!!!

John Shewchuk
December 31, 2022 6:14 pm

Germany is another Sri Lanka in the making — another experiment on a national scale — but this time much bigger.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  John Shewchuk
January 1, 2023 2:28 am

Yes and no.
Insanely, considering their epic farming heritage and respect every Dutchman has for ‘farmers’ – it’s the contemporary mistreatment by Dutch Government that leaves Sri Lanka in the shade.
They really have convinced themselves that (water soluble) Nitrogen coming from their livestock farms is going to waste the world.
So they’re going to destroy their livestock farmers before it ‘gets too bad’

It Is Complete Madness – we really are stampeding ourselves off a cliff here.
Even when, as per Holland, you don’t actually have any cliffs.
gotta laugh haven’t ya

December 31, 2022 7:02 pm

The Italians so much smarter than the stoic Germans. Who would have thought it. Next up should be the British or the French. Leave the Krauts out on the proverbial climate crisis limb by themselves.

Reply to  guidvce4
January 1, 2023 2:48 am

All sorts of nuclear panic buying going on in the UK right now. Of course nuclear vendors are licking their lips at the country having to pay premium prices as their doors are hammered down by various countries demanding their services.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  HotScot
January 1, 2023 4:14 am

Indeed. EdF has threatened to close reactors in the face of the windfall tax that the government plans to impose. Meanwhile the wind industry is also pursuing legal action against the tax. Some of that might be successful. I’ve not managed to read the terms for wind farms signed up to ROCs, but certainly those for CFDs contain provisions for compensation in the event of windfall taxes.

Of course Drax has virtually shuttered its CFD funded biomass unit (the others are on lucrative ROCs) because the baseload reference price imposes a tax of £280/MWh on everything it produces. Only when prices go sky high is it worth firing up the unit.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
January 1, 2023 5:36 am

I watched a video 3 or 4 years ago by the head of something like British Nuclear Fuels saying nuclear was in great shape, with robust plans for the future.

I was puzzled at the time as UK nuclear projects seemed to be in a dreadful state.

It would appear they have been watching the disaster of renewables/storage unfold, in the full knowledge that nuclear is the only solution to the contrived disaster that is global energy provision.

I also noted a report from Dr. John Constable of the GWPF saying that within 10 to 20 years there wouldn’t be a wind turbine left standing.

Rolls Royce has declared it’s intention to begin building the first of 16 SMR’s in 2030 although I believe that number has at least doubled now. It seems there’s also considerable activity in America around SMR’s.

To get there though, we need a transition source of low output FF’s which can only be gas. That was the original intention back in the 70’s and 80’s until the green blob reared its ugly head and scuppered it, in favour of ridiculous renewables and condemnation of nuclear as a source of electricity.

It would be nice to imagine someone will pay for this utter disaster, but no one ever will.

Reply to  HotScot
January 1, 2023 8:44 am

1) NuScale in the US, and also contracting with other countries for it’s “approved by the US DOE” SMR design, that is, apparently, able to vary output as opposed to only steady state baseline, to be able to fill in for unreliables when they do not produce. That was a part of their sales spiel to the DOE.

2) If anyone really wanted to do the studies, I am pretty sure you would find that MOST of the funding to anti nuclear power groups in the 70s and 80s came from the COAL industry since they were the ONLY baseline electrical generation other than Nuclear. AND still they are the only two baseline electricity generators that can guarantee output for long periods due to coal being able to pile up a bunch of “energy” and nuclear having a bunch of “energy” in the reactor core.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Drake
January 1, 2023 9:27 am

Maybe coal interests played a role, but the Soviets had a big hand in it as well. For a number of reasons.

First of all they could not compete with the West economically and France was showing that nuclear was a viable cost-effective approach that would further open the economic gap if deployed more broadly.

Second because they wanted to sell their oil and gas (as they still do).

Third because anything that disrupted social cohesion in the West was something the Soviets would strategically try to support. It’s not clear that there’s been much change on that front either.

Reply to  HotScot
January 1, 2023 9:29 am

One has to question the UK government’s illogical commitment to expanding renewables at the same time as a headlong rush to get nuclear. Surely, if there is sufficient nuclear built, we don’t need to cover our green and pleasant land (and coastal waters) with windmills and solar panels.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Jackdaw
January 1, 2023 12:51 pm

It’s not illogical at all if you understand that the whole purpose is setting up subsidy farming opportunities for their cronies.

Reply to  HotScot
January 1, 2023 6:33 am

Nuclear “panic buying” is exactly the behavior that we don’t need. There are not enough experienced engineers or welders, or construction workers or equipment suppliers to design and build and safely operate a lot of nuclear plants all of a sudden. They will build crap, and make mistakes, and create God awful messes that will cost a fortune to cleanup.

The only panic buying that is needed is education. At every level of the design, building and operational level. A commitment to a steady, long term build. Accompanied by government research, including prototype construction, of nuclear heat sources for chemical process purposes, to make synfuels.

If businesses want to continue to dabble in batteries, fine. But no more crash programs to re- imagine our entire society, and the transportation infrastructure. If people want battery powered transportation, then let industry develop as the demand rises.

Reply to  rxc6422
January 1, 2023 9:04 am

Wow, you don’t think much of humans do you.

In the US during WWII over 50 aircraft carriers were built, hundreds of other warships, almost 1000 Liberty and Victory ships, etc. etc. from 0 to 60 in a year. Also many of those vessels were built in shipyards that didn’t even exist before the war started.

How long do you think it takes to train a welder?? The most important thing is weeding out the incompetent, at every level. from design to build to management.

Yes, this is a new time when most ‘workers” are happy to stay home on government ‘assistance” and work under the table for extra money than actually get a job and pay taxes to support their government. That is a function of government that CAN be ended.

Return ALL welfare/Medicaid in the US to the states, with block grants based on CITIZEN population, on a dollar basis per citizen, not per welfare recipient, starting at 80% the first year, then 60% and so on to 0 dollars subsidizing the States so that each state will be totally responsible for their kindness to the worthless. THEN when people vote with their feet and leave the ‘blue” states, they will no longer be subsidizing the blue states’ largess. When the blue states go bankrupt and must stop paying people NOT TO WORK, the labor participation rate will go back up to historical levels from the current low rate. The old saying that “a rising tide lifts all boats” means that the more people who are productive members of society, the better of ALL of society is.

Just remember, although the MSM never covered the truth, the Democrats first multi trillion dollar Covid bill after the Brandon inauguration bailed out ALL blue states saving them from bankruptcy that their governors had brought on by their lockdowns and loss of taxes.

Reply to  HotScot
January 2, 2023 6:42 am

So nuclear isn’t going to be regulated to death anymore?

December 31, 2022 8:05 pm

Reality is slowly winning.

Gunga Din
December 31, 2022 8:35 pm

Nuclear works. Fossil fuels work. Hydro works. (The Greens like to claim hydro as theirs yet they fight new dams for hydro.)
Solar and pinwheels don’t. They are not reliable.
“The West” has kneecapped themselves.
India, China and Russia have not.

Elliot W
December 31, 2022 8:37 pm

You’d have thought they’d have realized the dangers of it by now, but German culture teaches quiet obedience to “highers-up”. Italians, in contrast, loudly voice their dissatisfactions. Guess who’s going to get stable electricity?

January 1, 2023 1:00 am


“”Two nuclear power stations crucial to keeping Britain’s lights on risk being closed next year as a remains result of Jeremy Hunt’s windfall tax, their French owner warns today.”” – Daily Telegraph

UK insanity remains on track

Reply to  strativarius
January 1, 2023 2:50 am

Exxon and Shell have also threatened to pull out of the North Sea.

Reply to  strativarius
January 1, 2023 12:20 pm

Jeremy Hunt is a disaster as Chancellor, indeed, he was a disaster as health secretary before taking to the Commons health committee to lecture anyone who dared criticise the NHS. I doubt if he has ever heard the word ‘growth’ (except in a medical sense) and we desperately need growth policies now, not disincentives to invest.

Tom Abbott
January 1, 2023 5:04 am

A Candu reactor/s would be a good choice for Italy.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 1, 2023 7:48 am

Now, if we could get a non-ruskie sourced HALEU fuel for it, it would rock!

Reply to  Justacanuk
January 2, 2023 1:01 am

Candu’s use natural uranium and could be adapted to using some thorium – doesn’t use HALEU (pedantic way of saying medium enriched uranium).

As a Canuck nuke, I’m disappointed to have seen Candu sold off and no longer pursuing reactor contracts, and Ontario Hydro going with American tech for its new SMR. I would have thought overhauling and expanding Pickering and Darlington with more Candu’s would have made more sense. Or at least baby Candu’s if the SMR narrative actually makes sense (I really liked the idea of mass produced factory made reactors assembled on site with minimal workforce and quick setup – but I’ve read articles from those in the know that big reactors make more sense from economies of scale and it’s actually regulatory burden reduction and standardization that needs to happen). But I’ve been out of the industry since forever so what do I know. I do think any current design is a waste of resources – high temperature and thorium designs with great fuel cycles make long term economic and safety sense. Time for another international Manhattan Project – to come up a standard effective design that everyone can use and kickoff a nuclear industrial revolution.

Reply to  PCman999
January 5, 2023 6:47 pm

Is CANDU too much “dual purpose” and a “proliferation risk”?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 1, 2023 10:18 am

So would this:

January 1, 2023 10:02 am

South Korea and Japan have already reversed their anti-nuclear policy. South Korea is marketing its nuclear capability aggressively. They are building four nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates. They have also submitted bids to build plants in the Czech Republic and Poland. They are also expected to compete for plants in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly, Chinese and Russian companies are their main competitors.

Beta Blocker
January 1, 2023 11:52 am

rxc6422 reply to HotScot: ‘Nuclear “panic buying” is exactly the behavior that we don’t need. There are not enough experienced engineers or welders, or construction workers or equipment suppliers to design and build and safely operate a lot of nuclear plants all of a sudden. They will build crap, and make mistakes, and create God awful messes that will cost a fortune to cleanup.’

The only reason we are building nuclear reactors here the United States is because of government-imposed low-carbon and zero-carbon mandates.  In the absence of these mandates, the market for power generation in the US would swing decisively towards natural gas.

Yes, we will be constructing more nuclear reactors in response to these mandates. But we shouldn’t suddenly start throwing lots of money at nuclear reactors. The state of the nuclear industrial base in the US isn’t strong enough at this point to absorb a lot of new money without inflating the price of the oncoming nuclear technologies.

If we did this, if we started throwing money at reactors left and right, the ‘God awful mess that will cost a fortune to cleanup’ will be the financial and economic fallout from a series of failed nuclear construction projects which badly break their cost & schedule commitments.

Time must be taken to rebuild the US nuclear industrial base well enough to match the relatively good condition it was in at the end of the 1980’s. That process will take fifteen years, maybe twenty, to fully complete.  

The way to do this is to start out by paying close attention to what happens with the oncoming SMR projects to see if these efforts can deliver nuclear power plants on cost and on schedule. 

If future efforts at nuclear construction are be successful, it is not enough to rebuild the base of experienced engineers, welders, construction workers, and equipment suppliers, etc. etc. etc.

Nuclear construction projects are a different animal than other kinds of industrial construction projects. Past experience in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s — and then again more recently with VC Summer and Vogtle 3 & 4 — demonstrates that management teams which don’t have what it takes to deal with the complexities of nuclear will almost always produce a failed project.

VC Summer was cancelled in 2015. Vogtle 3 & 4, an AP1000 project, is now on track for completion, but only after the original EPC contractor team was completely replaced and the project’s cost & schedule revised drastically upward to match the realities of today’s nuclear industrial base.

Advocates of the large 1,200 MW reactors, people who generally oppose the oncoming small modular reactors (SMRs), claim that with completion nearing for Vogtle 3 & 4, enough of an industrial base is now present to justify another AP1000 project in the US.

As an SMR advocate, I am skeptical of these claims. However, let these people make a case for building another AP1000-size project, doing so with a highly detailed analysis of the current state of the nuclear construction industry, an analysis which credibly justifies their position.

Bruce Cobb
January 1, 2023 12:04 pm

If only there was a plentiful, relatively cheap and energy-dense material that could be dug up and burned to provide reliable, base-load power.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 1, 2023 1:33 pm

“We can get ‘er done, Bruce!” 😉

comment image

Reply to  Janice Moore
January 1, 2023 4:54 pm

Any relation Janice?

Janice Moore
Reply to  observa
January 1, 2023 7:40 pm

No. 🙂

January 1, 2023 4:14 pm

One thing I hadn’t thought about in the driest State in the driest continent with the great green hope of hydrogen was what it’s made from-
To be fair there’s too much water water everywhere along the Murray Darling just at present but we do know that is weather dependent too.

Reply to  observa
January 2, 2023 1:23 am

MSN is a low IQ news outlet, and the “got to find water first” worry is stupid as well, along with the idea of trying to use hydrogen as a fuel source.

But if hydrogen is to be ” a thing” then it would be done in concert with intermittent wind power (which is increasingly offshore – near lots of water) or with desert solar power – so pump/syphon sea water to big depressions like the Salton Sea, Dead Sea, Qattara. etc, and desalinate the water to make electrolysis easier and produce lots of mineral salt where lots of lithium (and other precious materials) can be extracted.

A good way to make the best of all the craziness and panic and lies surrounding the climate change stupidity.

January 1, 2023 9:24 pm

Crowdsourcing anyone?
Any port in a storm when you run out of other people’s money I guess.

January 2, 2023 6:15 am

Austria isn’t just not having any nuke, not just by law not having any nuke, their constitution ensure they can’t have one.

How are they even allowed inside EURATOM?
The EU is a bad joke!

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