Nuclear, the Russian threat and the controversial French model

The risk associated with the use of the atomic bomb has nothing to do with the possibility of returning to use the power plants

When it comes to nucleargenerally, there is a great deal of confusion. And the first, substantial distinction must be made between the threat of use of nuclear weapons by Russia in the conflict against Ukraine and the nuclear power generation, as happens in several countries, starting with France. To put it simply, atomic bombs, whether tactical or strategic, have nothing to do with nuclear power plants. Experts add that when we talk about bombs we are talking about uranium 235 and when we talk about uranium 238 power plants. Two different raw materials. So you can be for or against nuclear power, as a technology to produce energy, leaving aside the madness of using nuclear weapons.

Once out of the basic misunderstanding, we can enter the debate concerning the possibility or not of a return to nuclear power. And the case of France offers interesting food for thought. It has been transformed, more or less over the past year, from a country capable of exporting low-cost electricity to a country in great difficulty, because it has to import electricity from half of Europe. What happened? The nuclear energy that it has always produced is no longer available, because more than half of the reactors are shut down, 32 out of 56, due to the usual nuclear fueling operations on one side and the scheduled maintenance and maintenance on the other. the extraordinary one, since the reactors are getting older.

When we talk about a return to nuclear power for Italy, we must consider, looking at the controversial model of France, the times for the construction of the plants, the investments necessary for construction and maintenance, and also the need to build a mix for energy production that avoids crises like the French one. Even looking only at the problem of waste, Italy is paying for the delay accumulated. Today they are kept in dozens of temporary deposits scattered throughout the territory and every time we talk about a single deposit a territorial war is triggered, without forgetting that Sogin, the company that should build it, has been commissioned. In France, for decades there have been single national depots where all or almost all of the waste from energy production activities is collected.

Returning to nuclear power would basically mean starting from scratch. Because what was there, in fact, is no longer there. Between 1964 and 1990 in Italy four power plants were active, today all in the phase of dismantling, after the 1987 referendum, which came the year after the Chernobyl tragedy to sanction the end of nuclear energy production: Trino (Vercelli) , Caorso (Piacenza), Latina and Garigliano (Caserta). Today Italy is the only one among the G7 countries that does not have active nuclear power plants while among the G20 members there are currently five nations that do not use nuclear energy, including Italy.

The debate on how safe and clean nuclear power generation is remains open, with critics and promoters very distant in their assessments. What is certain is that while Putin, according to the Times, thinks of a nuclear test on the border with Ukraine to fully demonstrate its danger, France is experiencing the energy crisis triggered by the conflict in Ukraine more or less like the others. European countries, despite its nuclear power generation. (from Fabio Insenga)