ROME (AP) — Italy’s government has proposed shelving indefinitely its nuclear plans following radiation leaks at Japan’s nuclear plant.

The government presented an amendment Tuesday to legislation under consideration in the Senate that would call off plans to find, build and activate nuclear plants in the country. The amendment says the government plans to define a new energy strategy instead.

Environment groups and lawmakers opposed to nuclear energy said the move was designed to thwart a referendum set for later this year on the government’s nuclear plans.

In a 1987 referendum following the Chernobyl disaster, Italians overwhelmingly rejected nuclear power.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.