At the beginning of June, the European Union’s decision-making bodies will take the final steps towards approving the inclusion of nuclear fission energy in the green taxonomy, the list of sources considered sustainable and to be financed for the so-called ecological transition.
Over the past few months, the European debate on nuclear power has been gaining momentum by exploiting the critical climate levels reached as a result of a development model that is unsustainable from every point of view: human and environmental. But it was the recent precipitation of war in Ukraine that revealed the real need of the European ruling classes, namely the need to reduce energy dependence on foreign countries as soon as possible, in the face of a greater drive towards electrification, in order to be able to withstand the clash in the era of multi-polar hyper-competitiveness evoked by Von der Leyen in her speech on the Union in September.
With this in mind, but in a context of open warfare, on 10-11 March last at the Versailles summit the European leaders indicated the three strategic objectives to achieve a Europe of power. One of these is energy autonomy, with the definition of the “REPowerEU”, a plan to be drawn up by the European Commission by the end of May.
It is necessary to build an opposition to this warmongering and climatic project, we launch an appeal to all social, trade union, political and movement forces to build together a path that, starting from the important mobilization on the occasion of the global strike for the climate on 25 March, will lead us to a national demonstration on Sunday, 22 May at the Caorso nuclear power plant, a symbolic place in the history of the anti-nuclear movement in this country that in 2022 – thirty-two years after the closure of the plant – will see the start of the dismantling of the reactor.
The reason for this is that a large part of the uranium extraction and processing phases are covered by military secrecy and it is therefore not possible to assess their impact on emissions in a transparent manner. Similarly, as far as the CO2 produced by the decommissioning process is concerned, there is no certain data available to date and we will not have it for another decade, when the most nuclear-connected countries will begin to effectively dismantle their plants. In this sense, the heavy legacy that nuclear fission leaves behind is taught to us by the history of our country: in Italy, since 1987, the year of the first referendum against nuclear power, the decommissioning process of the four Italian reactors is only 30-40% complete and Sogin, the company that manages Italy’s nuclear power plants, first passed on the enormous costs of the work to our electricity bills and then went into administration. Today, the resolution on the Single National Nuclear Waste Repository is approaching, but if it is still managed as an S.P.A., it will only produce environmental damage and undemocratic decision-making mechanisms.
Warmongering because: Civil nuclear power also has another face, namely the military one. Enrichment technology can produce uranium enriched to over 90% for bombs, so gaining control of nuclear technology means having materials suitable for the production of nuclear weapons. The American bases on our territory at Camp Darby and Sigonella and the military airports at Aviano and Ghedi contain nuclear weapons of various types. And it is precisely from all these bases that weapons are currently being shipped to Ukraine, thereby fomenting a conflict in which the atomic threat is just around the corner.
Faced with the unsustainability of a production model that devours the present and destroys the future, as a communist youth organisation we feel the urgency of building practical action against nuclearism, taking advantage of the legacy of past struggles that have banned the nuclear industry from Italy and acting quickly, close to institutional decisions. To do this, we will need all those intellectual, social and political forces that are fundamental to fighting against the ecocidal and warmongering drift to which this system is leading us: the demonstration in Caorso at the end of May is an important step in this direction.