A proposito di sommergibili a La Maddalena
U.S. Nuclear Submarines to Leave Italian Island Base
By REUTERS, ROME
The United States navy is closing its submarine base off the island of
Sardinia, one of only two stations in the world outside the United
States that services nuclear submarines, the Italian Defense Ministry said.
A Defense Ministry statement released Nov. 22 said the timetable for the
closure would be agreed at a later date.
The decision was part of a broader U.S. plan to revise its military
deployment across Europe, it added.
The U.S. support operation at La Maddalena was commissioned on Jan. 1
1973, but has faced calls for its closure in recent years from local
authorities because of environmental concerns.
Conservationist group Legambiente said last year it had conducted tests
that showed increased levels of radiation in the waters that could be
traced to the submarines.
Local leaders hailed the U.S. decision.
"It’s the best news we’ve had in a long while," said Sardinia’s regional
president, computer tycoon Renato Soru.
Some 1,800 U.S. personnel work at La Maddalena, built on a tiny island
off the north eastern tip of Sardinia. Submarines use the facilities for
repairs and none is based there.
The only known accident occurred in 2003, when the nuclear-powered
Hartford submarine ran aground near the base causing substantial damage
to the vessel. The captain and another top officer were later relieved
of their command.
Sardinia is famed for its sandy beaches and sunny climate, but locals
complain that the presence of the U.S. base has hindered tourism
development on the island.