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The Associated Press March 23, 2011, 10:23AM ET

Italy puts 1 year moratorium on nuclear

The Italian government has put a one-year moratorium on plans to revive nuclear energy in a country that shut down its reactors more than 20 years ago.

Premier Silvio Berusconi's Cabinet approved the moratorium Wednesday in the wake of radiation leaks at a Japanese plant damaged after March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Italians rejected nuclear power in a 1987 referendum following the Chernobyl disaster, forcing the shutdown of its four working plants.

Berlusconi's government pledged to revive nuclear power to reduce dependence on foreign oil and natural gas, but no sites have yet been chosen in the seismically active country.

Nuclear opponents say the moratorium is a ruse to delay a referendum on nuclear power until memories of the Japan disaster have dimmed.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MILAN (AP) -- The Italian government has put a one-year moratorium on plans to revive nuclear energy in a country that shut down its reactors more than 20 years ago.

Premier Silvio Berusconi's Cabinet approved the moratorium Wednesday in the wake of radiation leaks at a Japanese plant damaged after March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Italians rejected nuclear power in a 1987 referendum following the Chernobyl disaster, forcing the shutdown of its two working plants.

Berlusconi's government pledged to revive nuclear power to reduce dependence on foreign oil and natural gas, but no sites have yet been chosen in the seismically active country.

Nuclear opponents say the moratorium is a ruse to delay a referendum on nuclear power until memories of the Japan disaster have dimmed.

(This version CORRECTS number of operational plants to four.)


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