Andrea Bersano Publishes Paper in August 2020 issue of The Electricity Journal
Nuclear energy was adopted in Italy in the past to deal with the insufficient fossil fuels on the national territory. After a public vote subsequent to the Chernobyl accident, Italy abandoned the use of nuclear energy and nowadays adopts a mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources for electricity production. However, the urging environmental pollution and climate change issues are forcing Italy to realize a so-called “energy transition” towards a more sustainable energy production and consumption system. In this framework, following the examples of other countries, it could be re-evaluated the adoption of nuclear to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. In the present paper, it is presented an overview of the nuclear energy history in Italy and the current and projected electricity demand and supply. Then, with reference to the Italian framework and policies, the main advantages and disadvantages of a hypothetical reintroduction of nuclear energy are presented. The analysis shows that the adoption of nuclear energy would bring several advantages in terms of lower emissions, higher security of supply and enabling of possible other technologies; the main disadvantages are related to the opposing public opinion and the nuclear waste management.