With the lights beginning to flicker on the nation’s energy infrastructure, what better occasion to give voice to the potential of nuclear energy in Ireland.

Currently proscribed by two separate pieces of legislation, the campaign group ‘18for0’ has launched in order to positively affect the national debate on cultivating a domestic nuclear industry. 

Named after the belief that 18% of our energy grid consisting of nuclear power could eliminate the need for fossil fuels by 2037, the group campaigns for a citizen assembly to set out the case for nuclear power.

According to the group, such a process to get a nuclear industry on its feet would take circa 12 years including the time required to formulate the necessary regulatory framework. Stressing the normality of nuclear power worldwide as well as the hypocrisy of importing nuclear power while at the same time prohibiting its domestic production, the preferred scenario for the group would be the construction of various small modular reactors.

Consisting of a variety of academics and industry experts the thrust of the group is to integrate nuclear into the general decarbonisation pursuit of the state

The group laid its case for a nuclear future at a webinar conducted this week platforming Kieran O’Brien, former managing director of Eirgrid as well as American academic Mark Nelson to document the lessons learnt from the Texan energy grid’s recent downfall during the winter period.

In a presentation highlighting the growing shortfalls experienced by the Irish grid, O’Brien described the increasing prevalence of so called ‘amber alerts’ indicating a lack of energy available. More common to developing countries in the Middle East, such occurrences have been occurring more frequently driven by failings in wind production and rapid shutdown of various power plants nationwide.

With the energy auction process conducted by the Commission Regulation of Utilities to stave off power outages the energy grid is approaching a very serious crisis come the mid 2020s if not before especially as Moneypoint station is expected to close by 2025.

Advocating for a variety of reforms, including capital investment in the grid the continued use of gas fired generation contrary to the state’s climate targets, will invariably be a necessary option. With the Corrib gas fields at the point of exhaustion, liquid natural gas import facilities will be required, much to the chagrin of the environmental lobby despite concerns over fracked gas.

Among the potential technologies at our disposal to alleviate the energy crunch while placating climate targets, nuclear reigns supreme in providing a relatively low cost, low carbon alternative.

Ireland would not be alone in pursuing nuclear power in pursuit of climate goals. Poland has planned to build a number of reactors to bring nuclear energy production to 16% of its national energy production by the 2040s. 

France has signalled its support for nuclearisation in Poland with EDF proposing to cover two thirds of the cost, if its European Pressurised Reactor is chosen.

Concluding on the need to fix the energy auction process to meet immediate demand, a mixture of LNG import facilities, better transmission as well as taking serious the prospect of going nuclear are ways to secure our energy future.

Second up to speak was American academic Kieran Nelson opining on the failures experienced in the US state of Texas with their overreliance on wind powered energy and its contribution to the bout of power cuts which led to deaths over this winter. A potential future for Ireland on account of our wind overreliance to Mr Nelson’s eyes the falseness of the current energy narrative is show plainly in the results of the recent Texan outages. 

In a report commissioned by the group, embarking on such a feat could create 1300 long term jobs while mitigating the need to import natural gas or even tap into domestic gas production off the Western seaboard. With Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) providing ideal facilities to the Irish energy market there is no reason for such an option not to be pursued in their eyes.

Objectors to the nuclear option point to the very obvious debacles at Chernobyl and Fukushima as well the lingering issue of the management of waste products. Pointing out the rarity and extreme conditions of the aforementioned disasters the group responds to the increasingly efficient ways of dealing with nuclear waste products utilised worldwide.

Arguments against nuclear become ever more diminished the closer we arrive at energy armageddon. Our current energy regime is juggling many different balls from ensuring constant economic and demographic growth to the indulgence in the absolute extremes of climate mania.

The professional and economic know-how exists for a viable nuclear alternative on the island of Ireland,whether it can come to fruition in the NIMBY prone Irish political system is another issue.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

6 Comments

  1. Nuclear energy is the only viable green and environmentally friendly source of power if you’re serious about lowering your carbon emissions.

    The thing about renewable sources like solar and wind are the extreme costs, environmentally speaking, of their construction. They take a lot of rare earth minerals, toxic lubricants and heavy industry to manufacture. Transportation costs are also quite severe. Remember the helicopters burning all that fuel to spray de-icing solutions on the wind turbines in Texas earlier in the year?

    Nuclear is, granted, ridiculously expensive initially but over time it saves money and is far more environmentally friendly. Spent nuclear fuel is relatively small for the power generated over it’s usable time and while a good way of properly disposing it doesn’t currently exist, it will given time and research.

    With solar and wind, the toxic materials, lubricants and damaged, no longer usable parts need to be disposed of somewhere and often that just means digging giant holes, stuffing them into it and burying it with a bulldozer.

    In terms of cost, simply compare France and Germany. Half of France’s power is supplied by nuclear energy and the price is relatively cheap. Most of Germany’s power is supposed by natural/gas power and it’s prices are ever increasing. Lets hope ol’ Stasi Merkel’s deal with Russia for gas doesn’t change when Russia has them over an even bigger barrel.

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  2. The only thing that would put me off nuclear energy in Ireland,is that it would literally be The Simpsons Springfield nuclear plant, in real life complete with Homer, Smithers, and Mr Burns in real life in an Irish caricature.
    Anyone tell us when did Irish private construction or Govt deliver a national project…On-time, on budget, with no major technical hiccups, worked properly from the go? I’ll wait…
    This project would cost more no doubt than the already most expensive hospital on the planet that still isn’t built yet,and the thought of the grift and brown paper envelopes being passed to cut corners,or use substandard materials in a project that is harnessing the most elemental natural forces is too horrible to contemplate.

    Imagine a few loads of Micra cement being used in something vital,like a nuclear containment vessel wall in this project, because someone’s cousin or brother was cheaper?
    Or using FAS qualified TIG welders on work experience to work on stainless reactor pipes?
    Saying lessons learned,no one to blame, let’s move on when Ireland looks like Pyiprat in Ukraine is really not going to cut it, because someone skimmed hundreds of thousands on a project like this.
    No its better we just let the grownups of Europe supply us with their nuke plants and let us forget about playing with dangerous stuff like this here.We arent mature enough for this as a nation.

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  3. (((They))) Live 02/10/2021 at 10:17 pm

    Its possible to burn natural Gas with out any carbon emissions, its called the Allam cycle, this would be cheaper than Nuclear in the short term. just build a LNG terminal and allow for exploration off the west coast, we might get lucky and find another Corrib

    When it comes to the environment, all political parties are pushing contradictory policies

    They all want to increase the population by at least 1 million by 2040, while at the same time cutting all types of emissions, just not possible

    They all want people to drive EVs, they want to keep adding data centres to the grid, and all of this will be powered by wind, dream on lads

    If you pursue contradictory policies then failure is inevitable

    Also, could the Burkean please change the font use by the website, it looks terrible

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  4. The climate change agenda is a scam. It seems a lot of people have been completely fooled by it. All this talk of reducing carbon emissions, being green so to speak, is a form of “globalist virtue signal group think” that confirms to the belief of the climate change agenda. The climate cult nonsense is being pushed by globalists, then pushed on countries from way up top through the UN, and various other world governing bodies, to push european states into line, to tax them to high heavens for failing to fall into line with AGENDA 2030-2050 protocols for a tyrannical dystopian nightmare surveillance society.

    Catch lines are = (Build back better) (Great Reset) (Sustainable Goals/Development) (Zero Carbon emissions) (Zero Covid) (Covid 19 = Certificate Of Vaccination ID AI, 1=A 9=I. It is in PLAIN SIGHT!

    It is all the same agenda. Even a dog on the street can see it.

    They want people, and their homes to be completely reliant on an electrical power grid, and surveillance system for maximum control over regions connected with railway systems. Catch words = (Smart), clot-shot pass tied to (smart) phones, (smart) devices, (smart) tvs, (smart) speakers, electrical heat pumps. People are building a prison camp in their own countries and are too unintelligent to see it, especially through biometric technology/IOT = Internet of things. GEORGE ORWELL written all over it.

    Make no mistake about it, they are spreading propaganda, and scaremongering through natural weather patterns that have always been there, they get the climate cult activists, and the youth to push hesitant politicans into line, through societal pressure. Mass brainwashing is at play in the climate hoax agenda.

    There has been no resistance from so-called right-wing governments in europe to the scamdemic and climate hoax, only citizen journalism pointing out the lunacy of it all. Countries like Poland, Hungary and others have not resisted, therefore they are down -1 from a sovereign nation perspective.

    Ireland has more than enough energy supply needs to power the nation, all it had to do was naturalize assets like offshore gas and remain in full control of it, instead of letting foreign corporations have it, and stop letting tech data centres suck up all the energy needs, it is not efficient, ireland is a small country. Ireland was also exporting a lot of its energy abroad in previous years, which resulted in higher energy needs from a domestic perspective. Ireland is a mismanaged banana republic after all.

    The submission to zero carbon emission goals also reduces coal and peat electricity generation. When other countries also capitulate to the UN, ireland will have a coal shortage. Its a vicious circle.

    When the irish government follow climate agenda 2030 – 2050, they are lowering the quality of life for its citizens with the excuse of saving the planet. It all leads to synthetic genetically modified lab meat, and eating of insects for protein, thats the end goal. It is basically a communist nightmare surveillance dystopia scenario.

    Climate change agenda is not about saving the world, it is about controlling people and reducing quality of life, making people even more enslaved, than in the present modernity from past decades which is a type of slavery all in itself aswell.

    Laugh at the madness.

    Peace!

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  5. @(((They))) Live

    They should not be submitting to the zero carbon emission globalist agenda 2030-2050 cult. They need to get out of the EU immediately, and stop letting brussels control them through dystopian climate laws. Ireland and the irish people should be in control of their own destiny. The colonialist mindset needs to be exchanged for a national independent mindset. They are destroying national sovereignty by submitting to EU climate laws, and making lives harder for citizens. There also should be a referendum on EU membership, and the zero emission agenda, if people really understood, researched and understood what it is all about for the long run, regarding Irelands future, i think they would want OUT of such madness. It seems people love slavery though, and they do not question, only believe what is presented to them through the LAMESTREAM cult narratives and globalist politicans who the system pays out millions to for their negligence.

    Regarding irelands population, they are already increasing it, that is whats behind the housing crisis, all the mass-immigration. Ireland can not facilitate it, because it is such a small country, it does not have the infrastructure to support it.

    Regarding energy needs, their use of wind turbines throughout the country is a fucking EYESORE.

    They should have nationalized gas resources and used that, instead of giving it away basically, and stop being so dependent on tech data centres sucking up energy needs, and justifying it, by saying they employ citizens. Those companies are not even taxed properly. The servitude of irish political parties is revolting, they have no ambition or strategy for irelands future. They are a bunch of sell outs. Direct foreign investment, GDP Per capita is all misleading HORSESHIT.

    Ireland needs indigenous investment and nationalization of important assets. Ireland is a mismanged JOKE!

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  6. What China and India are up to is far more interesting, and maybe a safer option for the future.
    China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02459-w

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