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Italy to Resurrect Nuclear Power?

Country votes on whether it should shelve plans indefinitely
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2011 9:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – Italians have entered day two of voting on a number of referenda, one of which could determine the future of nuclear power in the country. Among the key points of the vote: whether to put plans to restart Italy's nuclear-power program on hold indefinitely, and whether to scrap a law that allows top politicians to skip court appearances when they face criminal trials. With Silvio Berlusconi's conservative coalition reeling after losing mayoral elections in Naples and Milan last month, losses in these referenda would further weaken his government, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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Referenda in Italy are generally framed in terms of overturning a law, and require 50% of potential voters to participate. As of Sunday evening, 30% of eligible voters had cast a ballot, putting the 50% threshold within reach during the final day of voting today. Hitting the 50% minimum has not happened since 1995, but concerns about nuclear energy caused by the disaster in Fukushima in March has spurred voter turnout. (Read more Silvio Berlusconi stories.)

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