Mon Mar 12th, 2007 at 01:10:50 PM EST
It is illegal in Ireland to fission uranium or any other element for any purpose, including medical reasearch or medical treatment.
Serious consideration should be given to nuclear power as an energy source for the Republic, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) has told the Government in a submission.
Ictu, which represents the broad trade union movement, said it was "short sighted" for the Government not to allow a debate on the subject. At present it is unlawful to use nuclear fission for any purpose and debate in political circles about the subject has been limited.
The comments are included in a submission made by Congress in response to the recent Government Green Paper on energy. The organisation was given an extra week to prepare its document and it was submitted in recent days to the Department of Communications.
The submission states: "Congress believes that the debate on Irish energy policy should give serious consideration to nuclear energy. The use of nuclear power, it is argued, can bring real benefits including a substantial reduction in emissions."
The organisation cites the International Atomic Energy Agency's view that nuclear power could make a major contribution to reducing dependence on imported gas and curbing carbon dioxide emissions in a cost-effective way. While its submission stops short of outright support for nuclear energy, the views articulated may prove controversial. Chairman of the ESB Tadhg O'Donoghue last year said the subject was at least worth debating, while Forfás, the State body which promotes enterprise, trade and science, said in April the Republic might need to build a new power station.
Ireland, as shown below, is almost wholly dependent on fossil fuels.
First the link for the quote above:
ICTU Calls For Nuclear Debate.
Irish electricity production is dominated by dangerous fossil fuels, which represent 93% of the production of Irish electricity, dominated by dangerous natural gas (40.1%), dangerous coal (27.8%) and then dangerous petroleum products which produces 15.2 of Irish electricity and peat 10%. The balance is taken up by wind power and hydro, a combined 3.5%.
This data comes from this report: Click on Energy In Ireland 1990-2005.
Ireland plans to expand its renewable energy, but the pace of this expansion will not, as is in the case of most countries on a renewable building spree, keep up with demand. By referring to figure 17 which contains Ireland's projections about energy for 2010 and 2020, we see that while in percentage terms renewable energy will grow, it will not grow enough to meet all new demand, thus requiring in absolute terms more fossil fuels.
Tadhg O'Donoghue, CEO of the Electricity Supply Board believes that the time to debate nuclear is now and further he predicts that Ireland will be mostly nuclear powered by 2050. He is opposed by Irish Premier, Bertie O'Hearn who wishes to keeep laws on the books against the use of nuclear energy.