The Obama Administration remains committed to nuclear power as a source of energy, the White House has said, notwithstanding the decision by Germany to gradually get rid of all its nuclear power plants.
“I would say that we have a system here that we have a lot of faith in, that our independent regulatory body ensures that we have the safest and most responsibly run nuclear energy industry in the world,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
Referendum in Italy
A top Italian court has ruled that Italians can vote in a referendum this month on whether the country should return to nuclear power, despite the government’s efforts to scrap the vote.
Premier Silvio Berlusconi initially pledged to revive nuclear power to reduce dependence on foreign oil and natural gas, leading opposition forces to call for the referendum.
But Berlusconi decided to shelve his plans following Japan’s nuclear disaster, mostly in a bid to avert a referendum expected to show overwhelming opposition that would doom any future attempt to return to nuclear energy.
16 N-reactors by OPEC
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kingpin Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 civilian nuclear reactors in the next two decades at a cost of $80 billion.
Newspapers cited Abdul Ghani Malibari, coordinator at the Saudi civilian nuclear agency, as saying the kingdom would launch an international tender for the reactors to be used in generating electricity and desalinating sea water.