This article analyzes the antinuclear movement between the 70s and 80s in Italy. It devotes particular attention to the antinuclear protest in the areas of Mantua and Reggio Emilia, which were threatened by a nuclear power plant. The article highlights the marked politicization of the nuclear energy issue, connected to a demand for participatory democracy and to the criticism of the development model. In the lower Po Valley – as well as in Molise, Lazio, Puglia and Piedmont – committees of citizens, environmental associations, political and cultural circles mobilized against nuclear energy, also managing to build a dialogue with trade union representatives and exert constant pressure on local and regional authorities.
Keywords: nuclear energy; antinuclear movement; participatory democracy; development model.