Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development

MEDIA - Press office ENEA
cover magazine EAI on nuclear power

Energy: “Now it’s possible to talk about nuclear power without prejudices in Italy”, said Environment Minister

“After decades of nuclear fear, finally also in Italy we are starting to discuss nuclear power keeping an open mind and without rigidly conforming to some idea. Public attitude is changing as it understands that the stop to nuclear power, phased out after two referendums following the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents, has brought no advantages or safety but rather the delays and environmental risks we are facing today". This was stated by the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin in his speech in the ENEA scientific magazine, "Energy, Environment, Innovation", dedicated to "New nuclear power: research, technologies, scenarios and prospects".

The magazine, available also online (, features contributions by experts and protagonists of the sector like Marco Enrico Ricotti, Full Professor at the Polytechnic of Milan, Roberto Adinolfi, President of Ansaldo Nucleare, Ambrogio Fasoli, Director of Swiss Plasma Center and President of EUROfusion, Francesca Ferrazza, Head of ENI Magnetic Fusion Initiatives, Luca Mastrantonio, Head of Enel Nuclear Innovation Unit, Antonio Zoccoli, President of the INFN and Piergiorgio Sonato, President of the the RFX Consortium.

The interviews are dedicated to key figures in nuclear power at a national and international level: Pietro Barabaschi, Director of ITER for over a year, the large international project which aims to create an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, Massimo Garribba, deputy director general coordinator of Euratom policies at the Directorate General for Energy of the EU Commission, Stefano Buono, scientist and entrepreneur, founder and CEO of newcleo, a company that designs fourth generation SMRs - Small Modular Reactors, Davide Malacalza, President of ASG Superconductors, a leading company in the fusion sector, and Nicola Monti, CEO of Edison, who has announced its ambition to build two SMRs by 2040 in Italy.

In particular, according to the director of ITER "unfortunately in Italy nuclear reactors industry has been dismantled, which makes it technically complex but I am sure feasible here as in other European countries, as we are not starting from scratch. We shall not be discouraged, I believe that nuclear power is not only a possible but also a desirable option and I am very happy that we are talking about it". Massimo Garribba notes that “all low-carbon sources, including nuclear energy, are necessary to achieve the EU's objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. The Commission will work to ensure that "Within the EU and beyond our borders, nuclear safety remain of primary importance and the highest standards of nuclear safety, safeguards and radiation protection are applied."

For the entrepreneur-scientist Stefano Buono, CEO of Newcleo "in Europe, and even more so in Italy, we have recently experienced the consequences of a short-sighted energy policy and energy independence is a hot issues of concern before everyone's eyes.

Of course, in order to include nuclear energy in its energy mix, each country must equip itself with some basic infrastructure, but we believe that the characteristics of the new reactors, including the lower cost and shorter installation times, can give great momentum to a nuclear revival". And as regards Italy, for Buono "a country which pioneered nuclear energy can certainly return to building and operating power plants. The interest is strong and we have no shortage of capacity."

 “Without devaluing the commitment to energy efficiency, hydrogen (a promising energy carrier of the future) and renewable sources, their intrinsic discontinuity makes it inevitable that a credible energy mix must be constituted, for a non-negligible part, from a programmable source and a series of technological solutions suitable for specific sectors – pointed out ENEA President Gilberto Dialuce. In the short and medium term, one possibility of introducing a significant share of decarbonised and programmable energy into the energy mix, which becomes an alternative to natural gas, is advanced nuclear fission power, a sector in which the Italian industry and scientific research is a leading position in all international projects'' he said.

For more information please contact:

Dr.ssa Cristina Corazza - ENEA - Head of the Relations and Communication Unit -