Nuclear Energy in Ireland?
I would like to bring up the subject on nuclear energy in Ireland. It is another one of those controversial topics that has been given quite a bit of attention in the past while. I suppose the main questions are; is it really necessary and what will it mean for the country?
Looking at this from a governmental perspective, introduction of this type of electricity generation would greatly decrease Irelands dependence on fossil fuels. It would lower the price of our electricity bills (nuclear energy is a relatively cheap form of generation) and it would dramatically decrease our CO2 output. This all seems great, and actually it is. The problem here is that we have to weigh up the pros and the cons.
So what are the disadvantages of nuclear power in Ireland? Firstly, as I have already said, nuclear energy is cheap. If we had such a cheap clean source of energy, what would that do to the renewable market? Suddenly wind turbines, bio fuel and solar would seem extremely expensive in comparison. In my personal opinion, we would see less investment in these forms of energy on a domestic and an industrial level. This is something that we do not want, especially if alternative energy in Ireland has not yet reached its full potential.
Ireland has kept nuclear energy at bay for many years. Of course it is necessary to move forward with the continuously increasing energy demand but surely nuclear energy should be a last resort. As an Irish citizen, I am proud to say that my country is nuclear free and I would be genuinely disappointed to see a nuclear reactor on the island. Renewable energy is far from being exhausted and to “go nuclear” would , for me seem like giving up.
I am aware that modern day nuclear reactors are extremely safe and while waste storage is not a solved problem, it is not something that should get in the way of reactor implementation (I will discuss this in more detail in a future article). Nuclear energy should only really be considered as a last resort and not as the “easy way out”.