The Italian Environment Minister Roberto Cingolani is campaigning for the return to nuclear energy. In addition to headwinds, he also received a lot of encouragement.
Rome / Bologna – After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1987, Italian citizens voted to shut down all nuclear power plants. Alongside Germany, the boot country is the only major industrial nation that abandoned nuclear power – and did so very early on. Now, of all places, the new environment minister is pleading for a re-entry and is giving out powerfully against “lifestyle environmentalists”.
Roberto Cingolani has been Italy’s Environment Minister since February. The physicist owes his office to the urging of the green five-star party for more political environmental awareness and the fact that in Italy key positions are often filled not with politicians but with experts. Cingolani headed the Italian counterpart of the German Fraunhofer Institute as scientific director for almost 15 years and then worked in business. Accordingly, he is now not following a political agenda – and is causing political rifts with an explosive statement.
Italy’s Environment Minister Roberto Cingolani advocates nuclear energy – “it’s foolish”
Cingolani calls for the nuclear phase-out to be re-examined. “Fourth generation technologies with no enriched uranium and heavy water are being developed. When the amount of radioactive waste is very small, safety is high and costs are low, it is foolish not to consider them, ”said the new environment minister.
Cingolani sharply criticized “ideology” thinking in the course of his nuclear appeal. “The world is full of lifestyle environmentalists and ideologically stubborn environmentalists. They are worse than the climate catastrophe we are headed for if we don’t make really sensible decisions now. “
Italy: Roberto Cingolani calls for a nuclear comeback – and is immediately quoted for conversation
However, the reactions to Cingolani’s advance show that Italian politics is anything but free from camp thinking. The right-wing Lega party immediately took the side of the environment minister: Party leader Matteo Salvini said that he saw no problem in building a nuclear power plant in Lombardy. This is the most populous region in the country. On the other hand, five-star boss Giuseppe Conte searched loudly world immediately the conversation with Cingolani. He wanted to “clarify” the direction of the country’s environmental policy.
After the debate, Cingolani promptly adopted a quieter tone: “Today we could not use nuclear energy because we have a referendum that rejects the old technologies and new ones are not yet available,” he said. However, one still has to deal with alternative energy sources, said Cingolani.
Nuclear power in Italy “infected by political ideologies” – European solution called for
Alberto Clò, former Italian Minister of Industry, jumped aside Cingolani. He says that worldthat the use of nuclear energy is part of the solution to addressing climate change. However: In Italy the conditions for a re-entry are not given. Clò explains this with the great resistance in the population, with the lack of scientific and personal skills since the nuclear phase-out and with the political discus that is completely “infected by political ideologies”. That is why Clò is hoping for European cooperation. He appeals: “Advanced economies must not ignore an energy source for ideological reasons.” But the topic is also controversially discussed in Germany and Europe. (yo)