The complications of nuclear energy

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Sir, – Kevin Hargaden is right to list the under-discussed complications of nuclear power (Letters, June 9). The country strongly opposed its use in the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, in response to decades of opposition to a reactor project at Carnsore Point. Until recently, there was little point in discussing these complications. However, the circumstances have changed. The demand for electricity has increased dramatically and shows no signs of slowing down. Climate change is reaching a critical point. We cannot continue to generate electricity by burning carbon and there is little hope that alternatives such as wind or solar power will completely replace carbon as an energy source. We need a stable and constant minimum supply to support the solar and wind energy variables. What should we do? Can we not even talk about nuclear energy, including complications? – yours, etc.,

JEAN MOLLOY,

Malahide, County Dublin.

Sir, – Kevin Hargaden of the Jesuit Center for Faith and Justice expresses his opposition to the development of fission nuclear power plants in Ireland.

There are power interconnections between Ireland and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. In addition, Ireland is in the process of building the Celtic interconnection between Ireland and France. This will help to develop “an integrated energy system for the European energy market”. Electricity will flow in and out of Ireland through all interconnections.

Both jurisdictions derive considerable levels of electricity from nuclear generation, around 20 percent in the case of the UK and 70 percent in France, the highest in the world. As the generators are withdrawn, these proportions will decrease but nuclear power will not disappear.

France is also the world’s largest net exporter of electricity, largely due to the very low cost of nuclear power generation. Its income from this source exceeds 3 billion euros per year.

Instead of worrying about the highly unlikely prospect of nuclear power plants in Ireland, Kevin Hardagen might consider another Jesuitical Irish solution to an Irish problem: importing the electricity produced by nuclear power plants while piously maintaining that we will never go. nuclear. – yours, etc.,

Dr DERMOT STOKES,

Dublin 4.



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