By Philip Rushton, Olivia Nigro, Michael Leonardi

A nuclear power reactor has not been operated in Italy since 1990 thanks to a referendum in 1987 following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia in which an overwhelming majority of the Italian population voted against the nuclear industry.

In the intervening years, however, the nuclear lobby has been hard at work.

Prime Minister Berlusconi admitted that the government’s pledge to abandon the nuclear agenda was simply a ruse to allow the moment of maximum public anxiety to pass.

A change in government policy in 2008 saw a return to the toxic nuclear agenda.

Italy has been described “as one of the most earthquake prone countries in Europe” and for this reason, primarily, there continues to be widespread opposition to the nuclear industry.

In the lead up to the referendum, over 190 groups have formed around Italy to campaign against the nuclear revival. Berlusconi even attempted to have the nuclear question removed from the referendum following Fukushima, claiming that Italians were too emotionally distressed to vote. This was overturned on June 1.

Fukushima serves as an important and grave reminder of the immense dangers associated with nuclear power.

We offer deep solidarity with the people of Japan struggling in the toxic aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and support their call for a Global Day of Protest Against Nuclear Power on 11 June: [](

**The International Nuclear Chain**

he struggle against the nuclear chain is international.

Uranium Mining

We are aware that Australia is home to up to 40% of the world’s known uranium reserves and hosts the largest uranium deposit on Earth, Roxby Downs (also known as Olympic Dam) in South Australia.

There is an aggressive expansion of the industry in the wake of the so-called ‘global nuclear renaissance’.

Australian uranium is used in nuclear reactors across Europe and was also identified in the Fukushima nuclear power facility.

We believe that a movement to stop nuclear power necessarily involves a movement to stop uranium mining.

We offer full solidarity to Indigenous people and communities on the frontline with the uranium industry in Australia. We offer full solidarity to the protest organized against the International Conference of the Uranium Industry in Perth, Western Australia on the 7th June, 2011.


**Nuclear Power in the United States**

The United States anti-nuclear movement is struggling against a pro-nuclear Obama administration and the massive economic power of the nuclear lobby in America.

We believe it is time to put a stop to nuclear energy all over the world and the 104 operating nuclear power reactors in the United States. These reactors are old and dangerous with documented releases of radiation and grave safety and security problems.

The US governments Nuclear Regulatory Commission is nothing but a rubber stamp for the Nuclear Power Industry and has been criminally negligent in covering up the dangerous practices of the Nuclear Industry.

We offer full solidarity to the nuclear-free movement in the United States that is calling on president Obama to create a plan to phase out Nuclear Energy in America and replace it with renewable sources of energy.


**Radioactive Waste**

At the end of the chain are nuclear waste products which remain dangerously radioactive for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years.

To date, no safe method of storing high level radioactive spent fuel rods from nuclear facilities exists.

We are aware that the Australian government is attempting to impose a national radioactive waste dump on the remote Aboriginal community of Muckaty Station in Northern Australia using highly undemocratic processes.

There is significant opposition to the waste dump from many Traditional Owners and the local community with the support of a national campaign.

This waste dump is likely to host high-level radioactive waste returned to Australia from Scotland and France in 2015 and 2016.

We believe that a movement to stop nuclear power necessarily involves a movement in solidarity with Indigenous people who are disproportionately targeted by the industry to host nuclear facilities.

We offer full solidarity to the people struggling against the Muckaty Station nomination for a radioactive waste dump in Northern Australia. We offer full solidarity to the ‘No Waste Dump’ protest organized at Australian Parliament House on 14 June, 2011.


**The International Struggle for a Nuclear-Free Future**

People in Italy need to be made aware of how important their vote is, not only for Italy but for the anti-nuclear movement the world over.

Government decisions in Germany and in Japan on halting and/or phasing out nuclear plants are extremely important, but the referendum in Italy could be a prime example of a people imposing its will on a corrupt government and the relentless nuclear lobby.

We need you to help us make it happen. Please offer us your solidarity.

We hope that this can be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue and exchange of solidarity as we struggle together at different stages of the nuclear chain for a nuclear free future.