“Fifty-one” shades of gray and a black hole, that of the Ministry of Defense. A "radioactive" map with 51 municipalities at "risk", of which 14 are Sardinian, and a chasm of state mysteries on the military areas destined to host the unique site of nuclear waste. Pichetto Fratin, named Gilberto, is Minister of the Environment with little propensity for half-sentences. When he answers yet another question about the site destined to house the Single Repository for radioactive waste, he has to resort to the most ancient rules of politics: say everything, to say nothing.

Military areas are quoted

His words are quoted in quotation marks by the Ansa agency on the occasion of his last public performance at the Innovation Training in Rome: «The possibility of municipalities self-nominating to host the national nuclear waste repository has not been taken up at the moment. There was one candidacy, that of Trino Vercellese, which was then withdrawn. At the moment we are at 51 areas of the Site Map, plus the military areas." These are not statements made at random, but they certainly reveal one word too many compared to what had been said so far on the identification of the radioactive site. To the areas defined as suitable by the Sogin charter, the state company responsible for dismantling the old Italian nuclear power plants and identifying a single repository capable of receiving the radioactive waste of yesterday and today, the Minister added a definition as broad as it is mysterious: « plus military areas." Nothing more and nothing less.

Confession & silence

A statement-confession sufficient to undermine the silence that has fallen on the nuclear affair. The last time it was discussed was in December last year when an improvident government decree decided to introduce a much more than disturbing hypothesis. The title of decree number 181 of 9 December 2023 was a sort of multiple index of subjects, but it made no mention of the most "hot" chapter: «Conversion into law of the decree-law of 9 December 2023, n. 181, containing urgent provisions for the country's energy security, the promotion of the use of renewable energy sources, support for energy-intensive businesses and for reconstruction in the territories affected by the exceptional flood events which occurred starting from 1 May 2023".

Military "coup".

The object of the military "coup" in nuclear matters was "encrypted" in article eleven: «The Ministry of the Environment publishes on its institutional website the list of areas present in the Cnapi proposal (National Charter of Potentially Suitable Areas, ed.) . The territorial bodies whose areas are not present in the Cnapi proposal, as well as the Ministry of Defense for the military structures involved, within thirty days of the publication of the list referred to in the first period, can present their self-nomination to host the Technology park and ask the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security and Sogin SpA to start a re-evaluation of the territory itself, in order to verify its possible suitability". The summary was clear: if any "suicidal" municipality wants to apply to host the waste deposit, it can do so. What unleashed the mystery, however, was the extension of the self-nomination "to the Ministry of Defense for the military structures involved". A lane of "military" secrecy capable of locking in silence not only the choices of the site, but also its possible creation, cutting off Regions and Municipalities. In the parliamentary examination, the only change introduced to the original text of the decree was to move the terms of the "self-nominations" of Municipalities and the Ministry of Defense beyond the Sardinian regional elections. Previously it was 30 days from the republication of the suitable areas on the Ministry of the Environment website, while at the time of the conversion by the Chambers they had become ninety. The list of eligible sites appeared on the Ministry's home page on 13 December 2023, just four days after the publication of the decree-law in the Official Journal. With the postponement to ninety days, the deadline for applying as nuclear "volunteers" was therefore postponed to March 13th. A few days ago, Pichetto Fratin's announcement was peremptory: the municipality of Trino Vercellese, in Piedmont, which had even thought of running as a candidate, had to make amends and withdraw with great vigor before the citizens "threw" the mayor and administrators out the window . The Minister therefore admitted the failure of the Municipalities' "self-nominations" process, but stated without fear of contradiction that "military areas" are added to the 51 eligible areas of the Sogin Charter. Gilberto & Guido, the Pichetto dell'Ambiente and the Crosetto della Difesa, are both "doc" Piedmontese. They travel on the same plane, speak the same language and usually respect each other. It is impossible that on the "nuclear" topic they did not agree on the line, the sites, the "self-nominations" and the times of the state blitz. Crosetto, a very powerful Minister of Defense, moreover, doesn't even touch a pin in his "war enclave", let alone if his colleague from the Environment, Pichetto Fratin, can "sneak" into the military bases without his approval. The fact is that since March 13, the deadline for the "voluntary" polygons, no one has revealed any sites with the "stars" indicated for the age-old task of disposing of previous and future radioactive waste. A silence that is difficult to reconcile with the "proclaimed" transparency, given that it would have been sufficient, to eliminate any doubt or possible dispute, to state that by the deadline set by the decree converted into law the Ministry of Defense had not advanced any candidature. Confirming the fact that the "war" Department would, instead, have put forward its own candidatures for the military sites is the "quote" from the Minister responsible for the matter, that of the Environment.

Municipalities plus Sardinian ranges

For Sardinia the combined provision is much more than disturbing: to the 14 sites already indicated in the Sogin map there would be added those relating to the Sardinian firing ranges which, as is well known, account for well over 65% of the military easements of the whole of Italy. On the island, despite the declared popular and institutional opposition of the Region and Municipalities, the Conte Government first and the Meloni Government, on 13 December last, included 14 potential sites in the map of suitable areas in 22 Municipalities: in the province of Oristano the towns of Siapiccia, Albagiara, Assolo, Mogorella, Usellus and Villa Sant'Antonio; in Southern Sardinia, Nuragus, Nurri, Genuri, Pauli Arbarei, Setzu, Tuili, Turri, Ussaramanna, Gergei, Guasila, Ortacesus, Segariu, Villamar, Mandas, Siurgus Donigala and Las Plassas. Now the military areas of the island are at risk: from Teulada to Quirra, from Capo Frasca to Poglina, up to La Maddalena. In this state "secret", any Sardinian military site could, therefore, end up in the "nuclear" sights of the single depot.

The G7 is coming

The zero-cost reassurances in the European pre-election phase will be wasted, but to date there is no official denial of the candidacy of any military ranges. Meanwhile, next April 29th, in Piedmont, at the home of the two Ministers, in the regal “Venaria” of Turin, Pichetto Fratin will preside over the G7 of Environment Ministers. An unequivocal point on the agenda: National repositories for radioactive waste. The men of the IAEA, the international atomic energy agency, were also invited to the world summit. Italy, which chairs the summit , will present itself without answers and with an unacceptable silence, that on Sardinia and on the military ranges.

© Riproduzione riservata