France has agreed to help Italy rebuild its nuclear sector – abandoned after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.
Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government wants 25 per cent of Italy’s electricity to come from nuclear power.
France – the world’s second largest atomic energy producer – has the necessary technology.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “I want to pay homage to the historic decision taken by Mr Berlusconi’s government to choose nuclear power.
“In that sense, France and its enterprises are going to help Italy and their workers to master this subject.”
The two powers have signed a “memorandum of understanding” on reactor projects between the French nuclear reactor builder Areva and the Italian engineering group Ansaldo Nucleare.
Italy’s biggest utility Enel and France’s state-owned nuclear energy provider EDF plan to build four Co2 emission-free nuclear plants in Italy.