According to an opinion piece titled The debate on Irish nuclear power should be fuelled by pragmatism the recent decision by the UK to include nuclear power in its future energy plans is causing an increased level of discussion about a domestic use of atomic power within Ireland. Another useful source about the discussion can be found on the Independent.ie (Ireland) under the title of Nuclear debate.
Apparently there have been calls from unions and business leaders for Ireland to rethink its current official prohibition on the use of nuclear energy. As one might expect, one of the things that people opposed to nuclear power bring up is the fact that Ireland is a rather small place, with a population of about 5 million people. They claim that there is no need for the kinds of power plants that the UK is considering, since those are in the range of 1100-1600 MWe and the entire island power demand is on the order of 4000 – 5000 MWe.
Of course, there is always the option of smaller atomic power plants like the 600 MWe AP-600 (complete with a US NRC design certification, by the way), the 750 MWe CANDU 6, or even the 10 MWe Adams Engine (TM). (I have to get that plug in now and again.) Any of those reactors would be useful additions that provide room for adequate redundancy in a grid the size of Ireland’s.