ROME, Dec. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Italy's nuclear waste is to be sent abroad for
disposal, a company tasked with managing the waste saidhere on Saturday.
The Italian state-owned company SOGIN said Environment MinisterAltero
Matteoli had drawn up a decree authorizing the 20-year-old waste to be sent
abroad, probably to France or Britain.
SOGIN said the decree covered 250 tons of waste, most of which is currently
stored at two plants in Piedmont and a third plan in Emilia Romagna.
It said the cost of the transport and disposal operation would come to some
300 million euros.
Most of the waste is spent fuel from Italy's four reactors, oneof which was
shut down in 1978. The other three were closed down after a 1987 referendum
halted Italy's nuclear power production.
Last year, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government bowedto popular
pressure to consider alternative sites for a proposed national nuclear dump that
was to be set up in the southern regionof Basilicata.
The dump was to store 80,000 cubic meters of medium and high grade nuclear
waste that is expected to remain radioactive for between 20,000 and 150,000
The national nuclear dump was to be set up at the tiny town of Scanzano
Jonico on Italy's south coast, but locals were outraged at the government
decision. Thousands joined protests including road blocks, marches and hunger