Knowing the nuclear

by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles

Emotional wake of the Chernobyl disaster, in 1987 Italy were renounced the nuclear option through the referendum. From that moment on, it became necessary to import energy from abroad, almost all of nuclear origin and transported through the use of massive power lines. Italy continued to use massively non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil and natural gas and residual measures just renewable, such as geothermal energy, hydropower and wind power. This scenario has forced us into a position of dependence on production and operating costs from our suppliers and countries were not fulfilled the conditions to encourage research and develop the production of electricity in a sustainable and renewable, as initially hoped. At a time when the government was preparing to launch a new nuclear program, with the construction of four new power plants, the disaster has forced a dramatic reflection Fukushima, freezing any initiative geared to that effect.

The nuclear energy fission (1) remains an uphill struggle for emotional involvement linked to health risks. Risks, however, not supported by statistical data. In the long term, in fact, the number of deaths per Terawattora from nuclear power plants is not caused unfavorable compared to the health damage caused by coal or natural gas. Thinking about very carefully are the high operating costs, maintenance, security, insurance and, last but not least, the problem of storage of radioactive waste. Limits currently inviolable, making it not very competitive cost of the kilowatt-hour produced. This is the real drawback of nuclear power. Arenatesi also warm nuclear fusion research (2), time did not have the technology to produce energy at a reasonable cost through this process, attention is then directed towards renewable and sustainable. In the few years ago, they have improved, achieving greater productivity, the photovoltaic system, wind power as water. If were placed in the network, to avoid concentrating great power in one place, further reducing deployment costs and enabling more tailored to the needs of individual territories. Interesting are also the search for new energy sources, such as the one designed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that uses chemical energy through nanotechnology. And high-impact developments seem to be too cold nuclear energy (3), a low-energy fusion system has always been underestimated by the international scientific community. This technology is characterized by the very low operating costs and, through the use of special catalysts, seems to be able to produce large amounts of energy.

Recent experimental tests have demonstrated a consistent production of energy and showed the characteristic of the scientific experiment reproducibility. Could receive further confirmation, the discovery of Focardi and Rossi would be an epochal revolution for the whole world, for very low cost, and cited the absence of waste and environmental damage. It seems strange that any country expresses an interest to build a plant on a large scale. Only Greece next autumn will test the first 1 megawatt power station based on this certification. It is likely that the global economic policy is still too tied to corporate interests that certain energy and national autonomy are not frowned upon. From the time of Enrico Mattei winds suspect that the “Seven Sisters” (4) may constitute a kind of sign economy structured on fossil energy. Interest and balances still strong and decisive, but they are gradually losing power, year after year. Globalization, the consciousness of the African peoples, Middle Eastern and Arab, the running out of oil and the development of new sources of energy are taking us, almost unconsciously, toward a new form of society. We don’t know if it is better or worse. It will certainly be different from that in which we are accustomed to live.


1. nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of a heavy element – for example, uranium 235 or plutonium 239 – is broken into smaller fragments, or in the nuclei of atoms and atomic number lower, with the emission of a large amount of energy associated with release of radioactivity and residual waste.

2. The process of nuclear fusion “hot” consists of the union of two or more light nuclei to get a heavier one. It is therefore the opposite of fission. Enormous difficulties are caused by repulsive forces between electric charges of equal sign. To overcome these forces, you must bring the matter to the state of plasma by high temperatures, the order of ten million degrees, with technologies not yet available and economically unsustainable.

3. In nuclear fusion, “cold” seems to be able to approach the nuclei of deuterium and tritium at distances such as to overcome the mutual repulsion using a minimal amount of energy thanks to the use of a catalyst. If the phenomenon is due to cold fusion or a source of energy that is still unknown at the moment is the subject of dispute.

4. The phrase Seven Sisters was coined by Enrico Mattei, after his appointment as Commissioner the liquidator of Agip in 1945, for indicate the seven oil companies in the world’s richest based on revenue.

Translated by Martina Delser