Italy and France have agreed a new co-operation deal that could see Italy embrace nuclear power again, 21 years after voters rejected atomic energy. Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi signed a deal which the Italian Prime Minister hopes will reduce the country’s dependence on imported gas and oil.
President Sarkozy said: “If Italy wants to confirm its choice to return to nuclear energy France, through its ecology minister and Prime Minister, is offering a limitless partnership. And concerning nuclear, we want to develop a clean energy source with our dear Italian friends.” The two nations’ power giants, EDF from France, and Italy’s Enel have also signed an agreement to start a feasability study on the construction of four latest-generation nuclear energy plants in Italy. Enel will be the majority shareholder in the joint venture. The Italian energy company is already involved with EDF in one French nuclear reactor, and has options to particpate in four more.