Italy freezes nuclear plans
Mar 23, 2011, 12:16 GMT
Rome - Italy's conservative government on Wednesday shelved, for at least two years, plans to build nuclear power plants in the country.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet approved a 12-month moratorium on the country's nuclear programme.
It also postponed to 2013 a decision, originally scheduled for later this year, on where to eventually situate the power plants.
Earlier this week, Industry Minister Paolo Romani had indicated the government would 'pause,' it nuclear plans in the wake of the radiation leakage from reactors in Japan following the recent earthquake and tsunami.
The damage to the Japanese reactors has reignited debate on the safety of nuclear energy in Italy which like Japan is prone to earthquakes.
Italy has been nuclear-free since a referendum held in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, but following his 2008 election victory, Berlusconi announced his government's intention to re-introduce nuclear power.
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