Facts show the antinuclear saboteurs to be in the right. At the same time they show up the pointlessness of calling for referendums or petitions.
Within the framework of an uninterrupted ecological and antinuclear struggle carried out against the ENEL, on September l 10th 1990, two giant pylons linking the sorting plant of Albertville near Lyons to the same kind of plant in Rondissone were severed. The action was carried out in the region called Baldissero Canavese, 40 kilometres from Turin.
This is also the line most used by the ENEL for transporting energy through the Small San Bernard pass, electric power produced by the French nuclear station at CreysMalville, better known as the Superphenix. At the time of the action the station had been closed for two months for maintenance work.
On this occasion the media went to town, giving much space to the news of what had happened, supported by technical details that were quite impressive.
We know just about everything about the way this antinuclear sabotage was carried out, then, from the time, about 6.20am, to the fact that three charges of explosive were used a few seconds from each other, that they completely uprooted giant pylons 223 and 224 about 300 hundred metres from each other, pulling down about a kilometre of electric cables.
The first to fall to the ground was the one near the plain. After having rendered it invalid, ie sawn the two downhill legs, the other two upstream were carefully mined with 200 grammes of gelatine explosive of the kind used in quarries. In this way the poor thing did not remain in that uncomfortable position for long, in most unstable equilibrium. The explosion, a liberation for both pylons, reduced them both to the same condition thirty seconds later. The latter, fallen into the valley below, fell on to a secondary 15,000 volt line, putting it out of use. The latter was used for supplying electricity to the surrounding villages.
The damage caused to the ENEL by this antinuclear sabotage was considerable: over a million pounds. For those interested in statistics, this is the fourth sabotage that has been carried out against that parti-cular electric line which was built in spite of the many protests by people of the area and which began functio-ning in 1987.
The first attack took place on September 18 1988 at Vallo Caluso; the second, on September 10 1989 at Settimo Torinese; the third on March 3 1990 at Are di Caluso. The first two attempts failed as the pylon, although sawn copiously and ingenious precautions were taken, had resisted. In the attack at Settimo explosives were used for the first time. In that carried out in the Are di Caluso area, a flat area, the first maxi-pylon, 45 metres high, weighing 6 tons, similar to the one at Baldissero, was successfully slain. One should remember that in '88 and '89 the electroducts that start out from the nuclear station at Caorso were also attacked. The same technique was used.
For those who like to know the best tested and most likely to succeed technique used to slay the pylons: two of the four supports are sawn at the base and the other two are mined. The explosion cuts them in half and the weight of the cables completes the work making it smash to the ground.
For once modern technology seems to have worked against itself. It has produced a kind of electric saw fed by an electrogenic group that can be silenced. The most commonly used explosive, according to the experts, is common gelatine with a nitroglycerine base contained in cartridges, better known as sticks of dynamite, with a slow combustion detonator and fuse. According to one expert, to cut through an ENEL 45 metre support a 250-300 gramme charge is sufficient.. Probably to be sure, still according to the same expert, the antinuclear saboteurs who made the two giant pylons go crashing to the ground, seem to have used double that amount. A crude technique in his opinion. But quite an effective one, given the results that who put them into practice, obtained.
The importance that this antinuclear sabotage has is due to the fact that this plant is a key link for transporting energy from abroad to Italy. About 40 per cent of the electric power acquired by the ENEL yearly in Europe. Its transporting capacity is three thousand megawatts a year.
This has undoubtedly been a heavy antinuclear sabotage, in that it struck one of the nerve cells of the interconnection network, putting the whole national electricity supply in crisis for a number of hours . The transport system of electric energy used by the ENEL comes from the construction of a network, which makes it possible to bypass the breakdown and link up to other suppliers who in this case might be Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Austria.
Once again, after this event, a number of newspapers with little imagination, linked the sabotage to the review Anarchismo.
We remember that this constant reference to the review concerns the fact that in 1988 it was "guilty" of having published a recipe of anarchist culinary skill concerning sabotage. In practice it was instructions for felling pylons, signed by an anarchist group operating the sector.
We should not forget, finally, that on the wave of the recent rise in petrol prices due to the armed conflict in the Persian Gulf, the use of nuclear energy in Italy has been discussed by various parties. In November the government itself, through its prime minister Andreotti, made it known that it intended to reconsider the plan laid out on energy policies, leading to believe that it was no longer tabu to say yes to nuclear energy. On the same track, the present industry minister Adolfo Battaglia communicated that 150 billion lire had been taken from the budget to be destined to the ENEA exclusively for research, which is already, being spent on safe (sic) nuclear power. There are also industrial agreements with the Ansaldo for the restructuring of 16 soviet power stations with gas turbines, this in the framework of an electricity supply from the USSR .
Finally, the counsel of ministers foresees an amendment of the law on saving that is being discussed in the senate for another 1300 or 1400 billion, especially with a tax on anhydride carbon. At the same time an energy and ecology tax. Often concerning the ENEL who then puts it on the consumers.
But perhaps all this is a good thing as it tears away the veil of hypocrasy that had been created by the referendum.
Nuclear power has never been stopped in the research laboratories. By financing the ENEA in this way, nothing is done but make public this research that has been carried out unofficially in the meantime. Just as not much time will pass before the construction of a new nuclear power station with second generation reactors, naturally passed off as "ultra-safe".
It is obvious, after what has been said, that the struggle carried out by the antinuclear saboteurs against the ENEL is the only valid methodological choice against those against the institutionalist one of the pacifists. Contrary to what the newspapers and those working for the conservation of this system of domination, what we have been talking about is turning out to be, without any doubt, the only practical method for putting the death production out of operation.
The use of sabotage as direct revolutionary action is the dividing line that separates coherent antinuclear ecologists from the whole parainstitutional mire that aims through petitions or public referendums to render inoffensive any real opposition against the projects of dominion put into act on the territory of State and capital.