John Gibbons calls for nuclear power in Ireland in today’s Irish Times.
There are all sorts of issues with nuclear power. In the medium term, nuclear power cannot expand much because of constraints on manufacturing capacity (particularly of vessels) and on the number of nuclear engineers. More generally, the big issue with nuclear power is neither waste nor security (both of which are largely under control if you employ qualified people), but proliferation. As there are more nuclear power stations and more nuclear engineers, chances rise that nasty people will get their hands on a dirty bomb or worse.
Nuclear power is irrelevant for Ireland. Nuclear power provides baseload. The current baseload power station, MoneyPoint, will retire before 2025. You cannot plan, permit and build a nuclear power station in less than 15 years. The next opportunity for nuclear in Ireland is when MoneyPoint’s successor will retire, around 2065.
Besides, nuclear and wind power do not mix well, because the amount of wind that Ireland is committed to requires a power plant that is more flexible than nuclear can be.