Nuclear debate set to resume

January 10th, 2015 10:14 AM

By Southern Star Team

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Southern Star January 10

WITH all the emphasis on renewable energy of

recent years, nuclear power slipped down the

agenda here, but it has now been put firmly

back on it by Minister for Communications,

Energy and Natural Resources Alex White, who wants to

generate a debate about trying to eliminate our dependence

on imported fossil-fuelled energy. Back in the 1970s

when the possibility of building a nuclear power station at

Carnsore, Co Wexford, was mooted, people power through

all manner of protests saw that the idea was shelved.

Subsequently, renewable sources of energy, such as

wind power, were seen as the answer to sustainability, but

many scenic rural communities have had their fill of giant

wind turbines blighting the landscape. At best, they only

seem to be capable of augmenting, as opposed to entirely

replacing, energy produced by the finite resources of fossils

fuels such as oil and coal, hence the necessity for a

new energy policy to meet increasing demands over the

coming years.

The first time around, the nuclear option proved very

emotive and was dismissed out of hand, however we need

a mature and pragmatic debate on the pros and cons of nuclear

power generation in the current circumstances what

with ‘feelers’ already being put out about the replacement

of the coal-burning Moneypoint power station in Co Clare,

which is expected to close in 2025, with such a utility. Due

to ongoing volatility in oil-producing regions such as Russia

and the Middle East, we need to look for alternative

sources of energy and it is only right that the issue should

be comprehensively debated.

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