The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

No signs of the drought ending in Italy

No drought relief in sight as Rome faces water rationing, Vatican shuts off fountains, By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist July 27, 2017, There are no signs of the drought ending in Italy in the foreseeable future.

Significant rain is needed to quell the wildfire risk, ease fears of water rationing and allow the Vatican to turn back on its water fountains.

The Vatican turned off its famous fountains for the first time in living memory in efforts to conserve water, CNN reported.

Around 100 decorative and drinking fountains surround the Vatican. Two of these fountains date back 500 years…….

There are no signs of the drought ending in Italy in the foreseeable future.


July 29, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Italy | Leave a comment

Italy’s thorium contamination resulting from military operations

Subject:  Alarming levels of thorium-232 at the military firing range lying between Cordenons, San Quirino, Vivaro and San Giorgio della Richinvelda, in the province of Pordenone

The Italian Army operates a military firing range lying between the districts of Cordenons, San Quirino, Vivaro and San Giorgio della Richinvelda in the province of Pordenone, in the vicinity of the River Cellina and the River Meduna, and the drills carried out at this firing range have led to the area becoming radioactively contaminated.

As has been reported by the press, in late December 2013 the Commander of the 132nd Ariete Armoured Division in Cordenons, the Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Army, the offices of the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the province of Pordenone and the affected districts, the prefect of Pordenone, and lastly Local Health Authority (ASS) No 6, were all sent the results of tests that had been carried out by the Friuli-Venezia Giulia provincial department of the Italian Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA), which showed alarming levels of thorium-232 in the area.

Thorium-232 is a notoriously radioactive metal, which emits particles that are six times more hazardous to human health than those released by depleted uranium. It is at its most toxic between around 20 and 25 years after use. More specifically, out of the eight targets (the shells of armoured tanks used for firing practice) tested by the ARPA, four were found to contain thorium-232 at markedly higher levels than those that generally occur naturally; these levels were therefore unnatural, and presumably attributable to military firing operations.

In all likelihood, such levels are the legacy left behind by the drills carried out at the site in the 1980s and 1990s: between 1986 and 2003, the Italian Army’s units were equipped with ‘Milan’ shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, which emitted thorium-232(1). The ARPA has indicated that it will shortly carry out more extensive tests in the area. It is recalled that, as a result of the area’s geological make-up, materials tend to trickle down to the lowest layers, which makes their future recovery appear rather difficult.

Consequently, there is an acute risk that the ‘Magredi’ region, and the rocky terrain that makes it so distinctive, will be devastated; what is more, the area is protected as both a site of Community importance and a Special Protection Area within the meaning of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), due to the wide variety of flora and fauna present there(2).

1. Is the Commission aware of this contamination?

2. Can it report whether any similar cases have occurred in the EU, how they were tackled and whether the areas affected were restored to their original state?

3. What initiatives does it intend to implement in order to prevent similar episodes from occurring in the EU, and in particular to prevent the contamination of aquifers?

(1) The same missiles were also used at the inter-force firing range in Quirra (Sardinia), which is sadly famous for the effects resulting from thorium-232 contamination.
(2) SCI IT3310009 ‘Magredi del Cellina’, SPA IT3311001 ‘Magredi di Pordenone’.

March 8, 2017 Posted by | environment, Italy, Reference, thorium, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Italian energy giant Enel and Greenpeace together in aim to develop renewable energy

Former foes Greenpeace and energy giant Enel stand together in low-carbon push, Guardian,   , 22 Oct 15  New CEO, Francesco Starace, is taking the Italian firm in a new direction, investing in solar and wind to become the first ‘truly green energy giant’. Just a year ago the Italian energy giant Enel was in a bitter court battle with Greenpeace, which accused the utility’s coal plant pollution of killing people. Today, the two groups are firm friends and Greenpeace says Enel is on track to be the “first truly green energy giant”.

What changed was the observation by new Enel CEO, Francesco Starace, that the tide was flowing in only one direction for utilities – towards low-carbon energy – thanks to fast-dropping renewable energy costs, smarter and more-efficient grids and increasing government action on climate change.

“There is a huge tide flowing and you can decide in which direction you want to swim,” he told the Guardian in an interview. “The tide is not in our control – it is the evolution of technology. I think it is crazy if there is someone thinking that he can actually influence this.”

Enel, the biggest utility in the world by customer numbers, has taken the plunge and pledged never to build another coal plant and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

A few other major utilities, such as E.ON and Vattenfall are taking a few strokes in the same direction, but Starace thinks a flood of companies making similar waves is imminent. “You will have big surprises,” he says. “In the next 12 months you will see most of the companies more or less go the same way.”……..

He says the coal-fired power station opened in Chile this year will be Enel’s last: “Why would you put €1bn into something that takes 10 years to be built and by the time you finish, you find out there is no point in having it anymore. It is too slow to be fitting this world anymore.”

“Nuclear is the same story, but even worse: a longer time cycle,” Starace says. “Today’s nuclear technology – though not nuclear technology in general – is a dead end. The proof of it is that fact that these huge new plants are typically nightmares of engineering and construction.”

He says the reactors planned by French company EDF for the UK are the “best in class” of current technology but are the same dead end: “I admire that they have the guts to carry on but these plants are over-engineered and incredibly complex and very, very difficult to complete.”……..

Instead of fossil fuel projects, half of Enel’s £18bn growth investment over the next five years is going into solar and wind energy, ….

Another major European utility, Vattenfall, is selling its large German coal mines and power plants, again to focus on renewables. Greenpeace is looking to make friends with them too, suggesting they will raise the money to buy – then close – the coal assets.

And the former boss of another big German utility RWE npower, Volker Beckers, said last year that the fossil-fuel powered energy system had “reached its natural end”: he nowchairs a renewable energy fund and asmart grid company and is a trustee ofForum for the Future, the sustainability advisory outfit founded by environmentalist Jonathon Porritt………

October 24, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Italy | Leave a comment

Terrorists planned an attack on nuclear weapons base

terrorism-targets-2US Nuclear Weapons Base In Italy Eyed By Alleged Terrorists by   Two suspected terrorists arrested by the Italian police allegedly were planning an attack against the nuclear weapons base at Ghedi.

The base stores 20 US B61 nuclear bombs earmarked for delivery by Italian PA-200 Tornado fighter-bombers in war. Nuclear security and strike exercises were conducted at the base in 2014. During peacetime the bombs are under the custody of the US Air Force 704th Munitions Support Squadron (MUNSS), a 130-personnel strong units at Ghedi Air Base.

The Italian police said at a press conference today that the two men in their conversations “were referring to several targets, particularly the Ghedi military base” near Brescia in northern Italy.

Ghedi Air Base is one of several national air bases in Europe that a US Air Force investigation in 2008 concludeddid not meet US security standards for nuclear weapons storage. Since then, the Pentagon and NATO have spent tens of millions of dollars and are planning to spend more to improve security at the nuclear weapons bases in Europe.

There are currently approximately 180 US B61 bombs deployed in Europe at six bases in five NATO countries: Belgium (Kleine Brogel AB), Germany (Buchel AB), Italy (Aviano AB and Ghedi AB), the Netherlands (Volkel AB), and Turkey (Incirlik AB).

Over the next decade, the B61s in Europe will be modernized and, when delivered by the new F-35A fighter-bomber, turned into a guided nuclear bomb (B61-12) with greater accuracy than the B61s currently deployed in Europe. Aircraft integration of the B61-12 has already started.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Italy, safety | Leave a comment

Chernobyl radiation still there – in Italian jam

text-radiationOrganic Italian jam found to contain radiation from decades-old Chernobyl accident – what is Fukushima doing to our food supply? November 17, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, (NaturalNews) More than 5,000 jars of organic wild blueberry jam made in Italy have been intercepted and recalled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in Japan after multiple batches of the fruit spread tested positive for unacceptable levels of radioactive cesium-137. According to the Japanese news source Shukan Asahi, the blueberries used in the Fiordifrutta brand jam, which originated in Bulgaria, were affected by radiation not from a flag-Italyrecent nuclear event like Fukushima but rather from the infamous Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.

This shocking revelation came as officials began tracing the source of the contaminated fruit, which tested as high as 164 becquerels (Bq) per kilogram (kg) of cesium-137, according to the paper. Located some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) away, the fields where the tainted blueberries were grown somehow came into contact with residual radiation from an accident that took place nearly 30 years ago, illustrating the harrowing long-term effects of nuclear disasters………

“The reality is that pollution caused by the Chernobyl nuclear accident 27 years ago is still upon us,” reads a rough English translation of the Shukan Asahi report.
Very little imported food is tested for radiation, so contamination rates could be far higher

The paper admits that only a tiny fraction, less than 10 percent, of food imported into the country is tested for radiation. This means that there could be far more affected products than just the jam that millions of people could be consuming unwittingly. And since countries like the U.S. and many in Europe have lower radiation standards for food, this is even more of a possibility in Japan……..

“The point here is that the contamination comes from the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986,” adds Rose. “For people that are paying attention, this illustrates the ever-growing nature of the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi site, which promises to contaminate the entire Pacific Basin over the next 7 years or so.”

The original Shukan Asahi report in Japanese can be accessed here:

November 20, 2013 Posted by | environment, Italy | Leave a comment

Southern Italy’s cancer epidemic, due to radioactive trash dumping

To clean it up it would cost the entire Italian budget for a year I think.’  

The lower house in the Italian Parliament had elected to make the documents public in the interests of transparency.

Toxic nuclear waste dumped illegally by the Mafia is blamed for surge in cancers in southern Italy He added: ‘We disposed of 70 or 80 trucks from the north, millions and millions of tonnes.    Read more: 

  • Italian Senate investigating link between pollutants and 50 per cent rise
  • Classified documents from 1997 reveal poison would kill everyone 
  • Nuclear sludge, brought from Germany, was dumped in landfills

By HANNAH ROBERTS IN ROME   1 November 2013 Toxic nuclear and industrial waste, dumped illegally by the Neapolitan mafia, is responsible for a surge in cancers in southern Italy, it is feared.

The Italian Senate is investigating a link between buried pollutants and a rise of almost 50 per cent in tumours found in the inhabitants of several towns around Naples.

In classified documents from 1997, only now released to the public, a mafia kingpin warned authorities that the poison in the ground would kill everyone ‘within two decades’. Camorra chief Francesco Schiavone, once the world’s number one mafia fugitive, said: ‘The inhabitants are all at risk of dying from cancer within twenty years.

‘In towns like Casapesenna, Casal di Principe, Castel Volturno, and so on, they have, perhaps, twenty years to live. In fact I don’t think anyone will survive.’

Doctors first noticed that cancers in towns around Naples were on the rise in the 1990s. But since that time they have increased by 40 per cent in women and 47 per cent in men.


 The illegal trafficking of hazardous waste came to light in 1997 when Francesco’s cousin, Carmine Schiavone, was overcome by guilt at the environmental damage he and others were inflicting, and decided to turn super-grass.  Francesco Schiavone was arrested and eventually given a life sentence for a string of murders.

In secret out-of-court testimony he told lawyers how the Casalesi clan ran ‘a military style operation’ dumping millions of tonnes of waste on farmland, in caves, in quarries and even on the edge of towns.  The mafia family also disposed of contaminated waste in Lake Lucrino and all along the coast.

Operatives were equipped with real police and carabinieri uniforms, as well as firearms, and the clans raked in huge profits of up to 600 million of the old lire (£200,000) a month.  The industry became an officially clan-sanctioned ‘business’ in 1990 but had been going on long before.  Nuclear sludge, brought in on trucks from plants in Germany, was dumped in landfills, Schiavone said. The trucks would unload waste at night before earth was thrown over with a JCB.

He said: ‘I know that some is on land where buffalo live today, and on which no grass grows’

The cost of a clean up would run into billions, he said, describing several sites in the suburbs of Naples.

Schiavone revealed: ‘We buried 520 drums of toxic waste in a specially dug quarry near the town of Pure Villaricca. But we also did it in very populated places, outside towns- at Casal di Principe behind the sports field at the edge of the motorway.’He added: ‘We disposed of 70 or 80 trucks from the north, millions and millions of tonnes.

‘To clean it up it would cost the entire Italian budget for a year I think.’ The lower house in the Italian Parliament had elected to make the documents public in the interests of transparency.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | health, Italy, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste travelling from Italy to La Hague, France

“In both Italy and France, nuclear energy is at an impasse: they don’t know what to do with nuclear waste”

Italians voted overwhelmingly against a return to nuclear energy in a
June 2011 referendum

Convoy taking Italian spent nuclear fuel to France: reports 24/07/2012 A rail convoy  highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from Italy to France set off from the northern Italian town of Saluggia overnight, Italian media reported Tuesday. Continue reading

July 25, 2012 Posted by | France, Italy, wastes | Leave a comment

A dubious claim about nuclear fusion

Cold Fusion Experiment: Major Success or Complex Hoax?, Fox news, By ,  November 02, 2011 A physicist in Italy claims to have demonstrated a new type of power plant that provides safe, cheap and virtually unlimited nuclear power to the world, without fossil fuels or radiation concerns.

The only hitch: Scientists say the method — cold fusion — is patently impossible. They say it defies the laws of physics……   Jonathan Koomey, an energy consultant who has advised the EPA, said any extraordinary discovery requires extraordinary proof. He said the E-Cat must be verified by an independent study conducted by scientists who are allowed access to the machine’s inner-workings.

“[The E-Cat experiment] should be treated as a hoax until independent scientists are able to replicate these results,” Koomey told — as one would treat claims that someone had defied the laws of gravity or found a major flaw in the theory of relativity.

Koomey explained that cold fusion defies the laws of thermodynamics. Energy requires an initial, consumable power source that erodes and breaks down — it simply isn’t self-sustaining……

Rossi claims his company, Leonardo Corp., will produce the E-Cat machine, which he first demonstrated earlier this year at the University of Bologna. Proof of the experiment’s success is that the customer will pay for the technology and start using it, he said…

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Italy, Reference, technology | 1 Comment

Court rules compensation for soldier exposed to depleted uranium

DEPLETED URANIUM CONTINUES TO CLAIM VICTIMS, 14 AUGUST 2011  VOICE OF RUSIA  Kosovo, (Pal Telegraph) – A court in Cagliari in Italy has ruled that the Ministry of Defence must pay a half million euros in compensation to the family of a soldier who died from exposure to depleted uranium in NATO bombs that were dropped on Kosovo.

Depleted uranium is used in rockets and bombs for increasing their piercing capacity. It is slightly radioactive and highly toxic. The first Italian death from exposure to it was reported in 2001.

NATO widely used DU munitions during its 1990s campaigns in Kosovo and Bosnia.

August 15, 2011 Posted by | depleted uranium, Italy, Legal | Leave a comment

94% vote against nuclear energy in Italy’s referendum

a historic result. …The expected majority against nuclear power was 94%……The outcome was a huge success for the anti-nuclear movement in the world’s first nationwide vote on the issue since Japan’s Fukushima disaster….”The era of nuclear [energy] is coming to an end today….”

Berlusconi’s nuclear power plans crushed Referendums see huge votes against PM’s plans – a second setback in under two weeks John Hooper in Rome,,   13 June 2011  The anti-nuclear movement won a crushing victory in Italy on Monday when well over 90% of voters rejected Silvio Berlusconi‘s plans for a return to nuclear power generation.

The result represented an overwhelming setback for the prime minister, who had tried to thwart the outcome by discouraging Italians from taking part. Continue reading

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Italy, politics | Leave a comment

Italy goes to vote, with nuclear issue in mind

Italy, also a seismically active country, shut down its nuclear power program in a 1987 referendum following the Chernobyl disaster. Although the referendum was legally binding for only five years, its political staying power proved more durable. Berlusconi pledged in 2009 to revive nuclear power …...
Italians vote on nuclear, water policies, Google News By COLLEEN BARRY, Associated Press – 11 June 11 MILAN (AP) — Premier Silvio Berlusconi would rather Italians head to the beach and not to the polls this weekend. Continue reading

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Italy, politics | Leave a comment

Solar field instead of nuclear plant, in Italy

Italy’s Last Reactor Town Goes Solar in Fight Against Nuclear , by Alessandra Migliaccio and Flavia RotondiApril 18 (Bloomberg) Montalto di Castro, the town where Italy’s last nuclear plant was built before a two-decade ban, is fighting against a return to atomic power and staking its future on solar energy by hosting Europe’s largest photovoltaic park. Continue reading

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Italy, renewable | Leave a comment

Italy and Switzerland halt nuclear programs

Italy Puts Nuclear Plans on Hold for a Year  Voice of America, 23 March, Italy has declared a one-year moratorium on plans to re-establish a nuclear power industry, in response to a Japanese nuclear crisis that has raised concerns across Europe about the safety of the technology.

The Italian Cabinet approved the moratorium Wednesday, halting any decision-making and research into suitable locations for nuclear plants….. Switzerland reacted to the Japanese nuclear crisis by suspending the approval process for three nuclear plants. Italy Puts Nuclear Plans on Hold for a Year | Europe | English

March 24, 2011 Posted by | business and costs, Italy | Leave a comment

French and Italian calls for Europe to block nuclear energy

In a desperate attempt to save its nuclear industry, France wants to condemn the whole of Europe to a suicidal energy policy.

The French antinuclear network “Sortir du nucléaire ” and its Italian counterpart “Rete Nazionale Antinucleare” call on the representatives of 27 at the European summit on energy to block nuclear and to save the renewable energy industry by refusing the goal of “carbon-free” electricity proposed by France, Italy and the Czech Republic.

European summit on energy: the French government and nuclear industry’s suicidal European energy policy France, with the assistance of Italy and the Czech Republic, is lobbying the European  Council so that the European Union includes the development of nuclear energy instead of renewable energy. Their goal : to replace the quota of 20% renewable energy in Europe in 2020 with a quota of “carbon-free” electricity in the future text of conclusions from the 27 EU leaders summit on energy, 4 February

Nuclear energy hidden behind “carbon-free electricity” “Carbon-free electricity”is the latest trick from the nuclear industry to get nuclear power to pass for a clean energy “without CO2”. Continue reading

February 11, 2011 Posted by | France, Italy, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Italian claim on nuclear fusion a mistake or a hoax?

Discovery says taking their device “directly to the press and public … is a strong sign of pseudoscience, and smacks of a mistake, if not an outright hoax.

Cold fusion claims leave many doubtful Mother Nature Network, Italian scientists say they have finally discovered the fabled source of cheap power. But does their research hold water? By John Platt, Jan 24 2011“……Rossi and Focardi have self-published their research on a blog they started called the Journal of Nuclear Physics. Continue reading

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Italy, spinbuster | 1 Comment