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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day!

Today is the day... ever since I decided to participate to the event I have been pondering what to talk about. I live in Italy so I thought I might share the Italian experience with other people.

In 1987 Italians voted a referendum that concerned, amongst other things, nuclear power.
The first referendum asked that the Government could not interfere with a town's decision if this town where to decide they didn't want a nuclear power plant on their territory. 80.6% of voters were in favor of the request.
The second referendum asked that the Government would not fund local enterprises if they were to decide to open nuclear powerplants and 79,7% of the voters were in favor of this second request.
The third one asked that Enel (our energy provider) would not be given the chance to open powerplants abroad and 71,9% of voters said Enel shouldn't. (italian source)

As I was watching the news on an indipendent channel, the other day, I was listening to what the current Government is doing for planet Earth... ignoring completely the will of the people as if a referendum could expire.
I'll make it simple: they have decided to open a certain ammount of nuclear powerplants on our territory funding the towns and Regions that will accept to have a powerplant built on their territory, the powerplants will be built by 2018 and will be third generation powerplants. If no Region agrees the Government would then overrule their decision.

Now, as the politicians were discussing this new law, it so happened that none of the Regions were willing to accept a nuclear powerplant on their territory and so stated: we don't want them. Except maybe for Lombardia (the Region of Milan - you see Italy is divided in 20 Regions, 5 of which follow special regulations too). But you see that Region also accepted plenty of thermovalorizers (don't be fooled by the name they are merely incinerators for garbage and it's not been proven that they are dangerous but it's been not proven they are not either: still some studies are being brought ahead by a group of indipendent researchers who have been trying to say for about 3 years that living next to one of these things will cause you cancer) anyways they have incinerators why not nuclear powerplant? Probably Sicily said yes but it's unclear if it was for real or not.

Recently, though, none of the Region said specifically: yes, we want a nuclear powerplant. Even though the Government promised money to them. So that's what our Parliament is thinking of now: we overrule their decision. We decide a Nuclear Powerplant should be built in Sardinia, if you want it we'll give you money and if you don't want it we'll build it anyway.

The other main problem that came up from the discussion was about the generation of the powerplant. Third generation? By the time they are built they are outdated. The two people interviewed on the show that were in favor of the powerplants were saying that both U.K. and Germany have decided to keep the powerplants they have... but only one of them, the engineer, stated that the reason why they decided to keep them is that it takes a lot of time and money to dismantle them so they have chosen not to build new ones, to keep what they have and see how to dispose of them... with time.

Next there's the date issue 2018. Of course Enel, who jumped right in the business, said that it cannot be done in such a short time and so they postponed the date to 2020. Now we all know Uranium is a not renewable resource and even though it all depends on the market and such (there are plenty of other nuclear stuff out there that use uranium, let's not forget that)... the opponents of nuclear power say that nuclear power will not be the right answer not even for a short time period. Which might be true (or not) but imagine the fact that we build nuclear powerplant by 2020 and then in 2025 the uranium prices shoot skyhigh what would we do then? It was all useless from the start, we did not consider that "Uranium is not here to stay, baby!".
Get an idea on Uranium, will ya?

I am sure all the people who have been called to analyze the situation have taken into consideration everything and not just the money they would get from the whole deal... even though the plants will be obsolete by the time they are built and new reactors would be needed.

Now if you were to give a look to this nice site you will all realize that nuclear powerplant are not bombs! Cernobyl was an accident and it doesn't happen very often, thank God! That is not the reason why Italians were against nuclear power... but just read this short paragraph here:

Although not much waste is produced, it is very, very dangerous. It must be sealed up and buried for many thousands of years to allow the radioactivity to die away. For all that time it must be kept safe from earthquakes, flooding, terrorists and everything else. This is difficult.

Shall I show you what earthquakes and flooding did to us in the last 6 months because things are not built in the proper way?

This is L'aquila (Abruzzo).

This is Messina (Sicily).

This is the outcome!

Yes, people die! Because they add sand to concrete, because nobody listens to the people saying: ehi, the hill will fall on our heads, do something or the next rain will do us in!
Everybody knew this was going to happen, because everybody keeps a shut mouth on this! People want to work, no matter what, no matter how... they do what they are told if they want to work.
And there are people who don't care, as long as they make more money and save money on the materials.

With this in mind... can we store the waste properly or, as usual, do we have to wait for people to die to do something about it? Because this is the land of: unitl somebody dies we will not lift a finger!

So in the hands of these people we want to put a nuclear powerplant. True we have excellent engineers, they all live abroad and we'll have to call them back (and would you come back if you were to live abroad in times like these? No way!). For sure the plants will work wonderfully!
Enel said so, Enel has "participations in plants" abroad (remember the referendum) and say: our engineers are well prepared.
I am sure of it! I am positive the plant will work.
But will it be built the right way? How will the waste be treated? Will we be able to dismantle them when Uranium has left the house? What impact will these plants have on the environment?

Can we just do one thing following the law for once? Or can we just follow common sense and intelligence?

For God sake, we have a song that says: chist'è o Paese d'o sole! (this is the land of the sun!).
If YOU - whoever you are - want to make money about this why not invest in solar power? Just open a factory that build photovoltaic solar panel and change the law so that we can only buy yours... I wouldn't mind to give you money so long as you give me clean energy for a cheap prize.
Imagin a panel on top of each house here in Italy, imagine how much energy we could produce and sell abroad! Just by putting a panel on top of each building.
We have highly populated cities in the South and Islands!
We'd be so rich! We could live on it! Let's do it this way!

But build things properly is not something we can do.
Lokk at this mess, here. Why decide to do something like this in Is Arenas (Sardinia)!
Ruin the environment to build the eolic park to produce energy that should be sold to Switzerland!
We'll never see flamingoes in the bay ever again! God knows what other species we'll destroy.

Why not go inland? Where it's deserted and it's already been built an eolic park which was never put to work because by the time it was done... it was obsolete?

Do you thin all of this careless building is not affecting the climate around us?

Today, in Italy, we buy most our energy supply from abroad, we do produce some for ourselves using water power plants. What would we do when our water supply goes down? Because I might be telling, all I want, that water is disappearing but people tells me that as long as it rains there will always be water and it has been raining... and people tells me that the steam and clouds cannot run away from the sky. But what if what falls back on Earth is poisonous? Then you see that is not water anymore. The water's gone!
And if water is not disappearing then why is Lake Trasimeno getting dry? Doesn't it rain on the lake as well? Or is it that what rains on the lake it is not really water anymore?

Today is the day... ever since I decided to participate to the event I have been pondering what to talk about. I live in Italy so I thought I might share the Italian experience with other people... because this is Italy too!

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