EU statistics should include "cost" of nuclear energy, Italy says
European Union public debt estimates should also take into account the implicit "cost" of nuclear energy, Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said , reported DPA on Saturday.
Tremonti said he was pushing the idea in the wake of last month's Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, which has had an economic impact worldwide.
"It's an issue that after Japan has to be considered and measured," he said in Godollo, Hungary, after an informal meeting with EU counterparts.
Nuclear energy "has a cost that sooner or later has to be paid back with interest," Tremonti argued.
"Just like we say that we should calculate and estimate the debt stemming from pensions, we should calculate the debt stemming from nuclear ... there are several cases where (the cost of) decommissioning is not sufficiently accounted for," he said.
If adopted, such a statistical revision would seriously worsen debt figures for France - the EU's largest nuclear energy producer - and the other 13 countries in the bloc that use the technology.
At the same time, it would make Italy's public debt figures - currently the second-highest in the bloc - comparatively lower.
Italy banned nuclear energy in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Tremonti's centre-right government had planned to re-introduce it, but that policy was frozen following the incident in Fukushima.
Tremonti said had "not yet" illustrated his plan to EU colleagues, indicating it would be presented first to the European Parliament in Brussels.