Italy says vulnerable to neighbours' nuclear mishaps

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Italy said Monday the blast that killed one person and injured four at a nuclear site in France highlighted its own vulnerability to such atomic incidents on the territory of its neighbours.

"Unfortunately, as we have always said, the (nuclear) stations near our borders, 19 of them beyond the Alps, will not spare us in case of dysfunction," said Secretary of State for Economic Development Stefano Saglia.

Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo also said the French accident site has been placed under "constant surveillance" by Rome.

The explosion highlighted, the minister added, "the necessity for Italy to have an nuclear safety agency that is operational and a recognised authority."

The region of Liguria on the French border was maintaining a state of alert for radioactive emissions as a precaution, Rome said.

Democratic party opposition leader Raffaella Mariani urged the government to "come to parliament and state clearly whether there are risks for Italian citizens".

And Antonio Di Pietro of the Italy of Values party said: "Today, we can find energy sources that are cleaner and less dangerous."

A referendum in June yielded a resounding 'no' from Italians to nuclear power.

The country abandoned atomic energy in a 1987 referendum after the Chernobyl disaster.

© 2011 AFP

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