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Italy's referendum now 'politically charged'

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Italy's referendum now 'politically charged'

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This weekend’s referendum on, among other things, nuclear power in Italy is unlikely to have an immediate impact on the sector, according to analysts.

Rome banned nuclear power generation in 1987, in the wake of the accident at Chernobyl.There has been a moratorium on its reintroduction since the Fukushima crisis, which began in March.

The centre-right governing coalition of Silvio Berlusconi wants to re-introduce nuclear energy to help lower power costs and render supplies more secure.

The referendum encompasses several issues including controversial plans to privatise water utilities.

Italy’s water sector is estimated to need around 64 billion euros of investment over the next 30 years to mend leaking pipes, complete sewage works and roll out waste treatment plants.

The referendum is predicted to reach the minimum vote, or quorum, thanks to it being politically charged after the government’s drubbing in the recent local elections.