Referendum has an expiry date

maggio 28, 2008

I was 12 years old but I remember what happened in Chernobyl in 1986.
I also remember that the following year 71% of Italians choose to say no to nuclear energy in a referendum. After 21 years from that vote the new minister for the economic development announced the creation of nuclear reactors by 2013.
I do not want to discuss if nuclear energy will be the right solution for our global problems, I am just asking what the people who voted in 1987 think about the value of their vote.
And what do youngest people think about it…


4 commenti

  1. Is there an Italian legal scholar who can explain this? Perhaps the 1987 referendum question had a “in the next 20 years” provision in it? Or perhaps the minister is uninformed?

  2. unfortunately it is quite complicated. the 3 questions of 1987 referendum, were centered on the abrogation of 3 precise aspects and could not interpreted as an expression of vote on nuclear energy. a recent short paper on Corriere.it (in italian http://www.corriere.it/scienze_e_tecnologie/08_maggio_22/nucleare_scheda_eb2f57bc-2801-11dd-b97e-00144f02aabc.shtml) support this point of view. may be this argument is used in an instrumental way, I am not enough documented. The cited paper appeared in the science and technology section of the online version of Corriere (one of the italian opinion leading newspapers), without any apparent reference to a news.
    I could not find an istitutional website (at least with a simply research) that presented the text of the referendum. but an italian website on nuclear waste (http://www.zonanucleare.com) the 3 questions are presented and concerned: 1) the decision of sites for the construction of nuclear plants
    2) the refunds to local amministrations in the chosen sites
    3) the partecipation of Enel (the main italian, and only in 1987, power company) to international project of construction and management outside Italy

  3. Thank you. As always, precise language was used in order to leave openings, it seems.

  4. Nice blog!
    The three question were as follow (from http://ulisse.sissa.it/chiediAUlisse/domanda/2006/Ucau060125d002 !)(only in Italian, sorry Coturnix):

    1) Volete che venga abrogata la norma che consente al Cipe (Comitato interministeriale per la programmazione economica) di decidere sulla localizzazione delle centrali nel caso in cui gli enti locali non decidono entro tempi stabiliti”? (la norma a cui si riferisce la domanda è quella riguardante “la procedura per la localizzazione delle centrali elettronucleari, la determinazione delle aree suscettibili di insediamento”, previste dal 13° comma dell’articolo unico legge 10/1/1983 n.8)

    2)Volete che venga abrogato il compenso ai comuni che ospitano centrali nucleari o a carbone”? (la norma a cui si riferisce la domanda è quella riguardante “l’erogazione di contributi a favore dei comuni e delle regioni sedi di centrali alimentate con combustibili diversi dagli idrocarburi”, previsti dai commi 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 della citata legge);

    3)Volete che venga abrogata la norma che consente all’Enel (Ente nazionale energia elettrica) di partecipare ad accordi internazionali per la costruzione e la gestione di centrali nucleari all’estero”? (questa norma è contenuta in una legge molto più vecchia, e precisamente la N.856 del 1973, che modificava l’articolo 1 della legge istitutiva dell’Enel).

    Onestly, 20 years on it’s difficult to see how these question could be interpreted as a clear indication that the people wanted to have done with nuclear energy. As italian politicias have a long history of ignoring referdum results much clearer than this, one would guess the decision was actually already taken, and that Chernobyl was a timely excuse to proceed (I mean, I’m happy it went this way, but I’d like to get over with the rethorics about the referendum and really understand what went on).

    Curiosly enough, the only result from the referendum that really posed limits to our nuclear industry, that is the third one (Enel could not build nuclear plants even abroad) was quietly cancelled in 2005 by the so-called “legge Marzano”, without much ado by the press or by the green party. This law says:

    Art 42. I produttori nazionali di energia elettrica possono, eventualmente in compartecipazione con imprese di altri paesi, svolgere attività di realizzazione e di esercizio di impianti localizzati all’estero, anche al fine di importarne l’energia prodotta.
    [ see: http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2005/gennaio/21/Enel_torna_all_atomo_con_co_9_050121015.shtml ]

    Basically, that our national energy producers can work with foreign plants – this seemed to be enough for Enel to start investing in nuclear projects abroad. At that point, the referendum was dead letter, as far as I understand (which is not far enough, for sure).

    Bye! Enrico


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