ENEA's History

ENEA was established in September 2009 but it inherited all the expertise, skills and capability from the prior research bodies.

The following are its milestones:


The CNRN (National Committee for Nuclear Research) is established at CNR with the aim of acquiring and diffusing scientific knowledge on peaceful applications of nuclear energy to biological and agricultural sciences, physics of materials and electronics.


The Italian Government turns over the Ispra Research Centre to EURATOM and, on the wave of the enthusiasm following the first Conference on the Peaceful Use of Energy, organized by the UN in Geneva in 1955, the Parliament changes CNRN into CNEN (National Committee for Nuclear Energy). CNEN works as a technological development center, collaborating closely with Industry in drafting and implementing nuclear and fuel cycle plants. The energy crisis marking the 70’s and the early 80’s risk jeopardizing hydrocarbons supply at global level. The Government, in order to face this new challenge, launches a new programme to implement nuclear plants for electric energy production; CNEN is chosen to develop and promote research at industrial level, that is the key to achieving this strategic national objective.


The Environmental Movement, which is gaining ground in the Country, brings about a new energy culture: CNEN changes into ENEA (National Committee for research and development of Nuclear and Alternative Energy), from then on dealing with not only nuclear energy but also renewable energy sources, rational use of energy and environmental impact.


Following the Chernobyl nuclear accident (1986) and the outcome of the three referenda held in 1987, a new law converts ENEA, although maintaining its acronym, into National Body for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment, with a renewed mission: researching alternative energies, new technologies and the Environment.

1999, 2003

Additional reforms (D.Lgs. 36/99 and D.Lgs. 257/03) reinforce ENEA’s role as public body operating in the fields of energy, the environment and new technologies in support to competitiveness and sustainable development policies.


In 2009, pursuant to Law n. 99 July 23 2009, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), is set up with the purpose of developing “research and technology innovation as well as providing advanced services to the energy sector, notably the nuclear sector, and foster sustainable economic growth”. At the same time, the National Body for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment is abolished.