Jan 31, 2023
Ireland is one of the few countries in the world that has banned the use of nuclear power generation. This ban was put in place in the enactment of the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999. In the 1970s a plan to develop and construct a nuclear power plant at Carnsore Point in County Wexford was met with fierce public opposition and eventually dropped.
The ban on nuclear power has been criticized by some as being outdated and counterproductive. They argue that modern nuclear technology is much safer and more efficient than the technology that was available in the 20th Century. They also argue that nuclear power is a necessary part of the solution to climate change, as it is a low-carbon source of energy that can generate large amounts of electricity.
Others argue that the ban on nuclear power is a positive thing. They point to the risks associated with nuclear power, such as the potential for accidents and the disposal of radioactive waste. They also argue that there are other, more sustainable ways to generate electricity, such as renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
So, is Ireland's ban on nuclear power a disadvantage or a clever avoidance of a costly and harmful distraction? The answer is not clear-cut. On the one hand, the ban could make it more difficult for Ireland to meet its climate targets, as nuclear power is a low-carbon source of energy. On the other hand, the ban could help to protect Ireland from the risks, including infamously massive cost over-runs, associated with nuclear power.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to lift the ban on nuclear power is a political one. The Government must weigh the potential risks and benefits of nuclear power.
Some additional factors that the Government should consider:
The cost of building and operating a nuclear power plant
The availability of nuclear fuel
The public's acceptance of nuclear power
The environmental impact of nuclear power
The Government must also consider the impact of climate change. It is already having a significant, documented effect and it is expected to worsen over time. We need to find ways to reduce Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions, and nuclear power could be one part of the solution.
The decision of whether or not to lift the ban on nuclear power is a complex one. There are many factors to consider, and there is no easy answer.