August 23, 2010 / 10:45 PM / in 7 years

Italy may indemnify cos if nuclear policy changes

RIMINI, ITALY, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Italy is considering indemnity for companies investing in nuclear power generation should the country’s current pro-nuclear policy change, Industry Ministry Undersecretary Stefano Saglia said on Monday.

“A solution envisaging guarantees in case the government’s programme should not be completed or a subsequent government should go against the (pro-nuclear) decision already taken -- a sort of indemnity,” Saglia said, at a meeting.

Italy is the only Group of Eight industrialised nation without nuclear power, but the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi plans to have a quarter of all power in the country generated at nuclear plants in the future.

Italy’s Enel SpA (ENEI.MI) and France’s EDF (EDF.PA) plan to build four nuclear power stations in Italy as part of the country’s push to relaunch nuclear energy sector abandoned after a 1987 referendum that followed the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986.

Other companies, including Edison SpA EDN.MI and A2A SpA(A2.MI) have expressed an interest in nuclear power projects.

Saglia said all interested operators would be able to ask for the authorisation for new nuclear power stations in January next year, identifying the sites.

“So at least the first two (sites) interested, I guess, should be known,” he said.

In Italy, local authorities have a crucial say in the approval of industrial projects and several Italian regions have already said they do not want to host nuclear plants. (Reporting by Paolo Biondi; writing by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Andre Grenon)

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