According to a 29 Novement 2005 article published on the online.ie web site, Irish Minister for the Environment Dick Roche, Fine Gael spokesman Fergus O’Dowd and Green Party spokesman Ciaran Cuffe have expressed their concern about the UK’s recent statements that they are considering an energy policy that might include new nuclear plants.
Specific concerns were the costs of decommissioning old power plants, the reprocessing of fuel at Sellafield on the Irish Sea and a long term plan for disposal of nuclear waste.
Each one expressed their believe that energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy would be sufficient to meet energy needs.
Mr. Roche said that he had restated the Irish position to the UK’s Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson at a recent meeting.
“The Irish Government rejects the argument that nuclear, as a carbon-free and plentiful source of energy, can provide a solution to problems of climate change and energy supply.
“The reality is that the nuclear industry carries with it serious environmental and safety risks and the cost in both economic and environmental terms are unsustainable,” he said.
I disagree, but think that you all need to hear as many viewpoints as possible.
As an aside, there was a second article published on the same day in the same publication titled Ireland ranked bottom of environmental league table. According to that article, Ireland was ranked worst of the 32 countries. One of the main weaknesses in its environmental record was the fact that its greenhouse gas emissions had increased by 25% between 1990 and 2003. Its per capita emissions now rank second worst in the EU, right behind Luxembourg.
There is a connection here between the anti-nuclear stance of the Irish Government, the lack of nuclear power stations in that country and the per capita emissions of greenhouse gases. I think renewables will not be enough!