July 18 (Reuters) – Germany’s E.On (EONGn.DE) has still not decided what technology it would use for possible nuclear power plants in Italy, the head of its Italian unit, Klaus Schaefer, said in an interview with an Italian newspaper.
“We still haven’t taken a decision” on technology, Schaefer, who is chief executive of E.On Italia, told Il Sole 24 Ore in the interview, published on Sunday.
“We can count on lots of specific experience, with a variety of solutions in all the countries where we are operating,” he said.
Rival group Enel (ENEI.MI) of Italy and France’s EDF (EDF.PA) have already picked French EPR reactors and Schaefer did not exclude his company also using that.
“Nothing excluded, no limits,” he said.
Italy plans to revive nuclear energy, which was rejected by a public vote in 1987 after the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. But clashing political interests have delayed setting up a safety agency — an important step in the plans.
Schaefer said there were still key elements missing from the plans, including rules for competition for sites and guarantees on stability for regulation.
The nuclear safety agency, yet to be set up, is expected to define precise criteria for selecting sites and oversee construction and operation. [ID:nLDE66D0QP]
He added that E.On could start work on nuclear projects in Italy before Enel and EdF but added it was not important.
“We are in a marathon, not a 100 metre sprint,” he said.
He said the government’s target of laying the first stone within the current legislature which could run to 2013 was “a tougher objective than it was a year ago,” adding that lost time could be regained.
Schaefer said if all went well, the first nuclear power plant could be working five to seven years after the start of construction.
(Editing by Jeremy Laurence)