Pro nuclear election concerns

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Italy's electorate will this month determine whether the country makes a return to nuclear power plant construction -- banned in Italy since 1986. Ahead of national elections slated for April 12-14, energy is one of the main themes in the campaigns of the country's two largest political parties. As one of Europe's most active wind power markets, Italian wind capacity is expected to reach 3500 MW this year and the government has vowed to introduce legislation to establish regional energy targets and remove permitting barriers. But these plans are now at the mercy of a general election. Although the two main political parties are both advocating support for renewables, they also want a return to nuclear power -- a cause placed at the top of the agenda of the centre-right Popolo delle Libertà party. The centre-left Partito Democratico also sees a future role for fourth generation nuclear power, though it is campaigning hard for a 20% by 2020 renewables target at the same time.

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