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Italy halts nuclear plan after Japan crisis

world Updated: Mar 22, 2011 23:23 IST

AFP
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Italy will declare a one-year moratorium on the country's nuclear programme at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Economic Development minister Paolo Romani told a parliamentary committee.

"At the cabinet meeting tomorrow we will declare a one-year moratorium on decisions or the search for nuclear sites," Romani said Tuesday.

Rome had planned to start building nuclear power stations from 2014 and hoped to produce a quarter of its electricity with atomic energy by 2030.

But even before the catastrophe in Japan, a poll by the Ipsos institute in February showed 58 percent of Italians opposed nuclear power stations.

Last week Romani called for "a moment of reflection" on Italy's planned return to civilian nuclear power, which it abandoned in 1987 in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.