The decision by Italian voters to comprehensively reject Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s plans to revive the nuclear power industry was welcomed today (Monday 13 June) by WWF Scotland.
Partial results show that an overwhelming majority of Italians have voted to throw out a law reviving nuclear energy.
Voter turnout topped 57 per cent – safely above the 50 per cent needed to validate the vote. It is the first time since 1995 that a quorum has been reached.
Following the vote WWF Scotland called on the Scottish Government to work with Italy and other nations to push clean energy solutions.
WWF had been hoping Italy would join the growing number of European countries choosing to drop nuclear power in favour of renewables and energy saving.
Scotland has already set a target to generate 100 per cent of its electricity from renwables, while in the last two weeks Germany and Switzerland announced plans to phase out nuclear.
Italy's nuclear power plants were shut down after a similar, 1987 referendum.
Commenting WWF Scotland Director, Dr Richard Dixon, said:
“We are over the moon that Italians turned out in overwhelming numbers to secure a result that will ensure the environment and future generations are not put at risk from a return to nuclear power.
“Research has shown that it is possible to tackle climate change and meet the world’s future energy requirements without the need to rely on dirty or dangerous forms of power such as nuclear and coal.
“Any plans to revive nuclear power here in the UK should now finally be ditched. We now urge the Scottish Government to work closely with Italy and other nations who have rejected nuclear power in order to ensure energy saving and renewable energy technologies are rapidly rolled out.”
WWF Italy's Head of Climate Change and Energy Programme, Mariagrazia Midulla, said:
“We are absoutlety delighted. Italy does not need nuclear power as we can tackle climate change and meet our energy needs from using cleaner sources of energy. Having already voted to reject nuclear power once before in 1987, the Italian government was wrong to try and force nuclear on us again.
“If the Italian government had been allowed to put nuclear power back on the table it would have undermined moves to save energy and increase the use of renewables. We now look forward to ensuring Italy becomes a green energy leader in Europe.”
More information: Mandy Carter on 07771 818 677
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 Earlier this year a report by WWF and Ecofys showed that all of the world’s energy needs could be provided cleanly, renewably and economically.
It demonstrated that by 2050, power, transport, industrial and domestic energy needs could be met overwhelmingly from renewable sources vastly reducing anxieties over energy security, pollution and not least, catastrophic climate change.
The Energy Report: 100% renewable energy by 2050
Contact: Mandy Carter
Phone: 07771 818 677