Irish minister rules out nuclear power

3 October 2006 — Ireland’s Natural Resources Minister, Noel Demspey, reportedly has said nuclear power was a “non-runner” at the launch of the first Government Green Paper on Energy since 1978. Although the State’s energy policy will be reviewed every five years, news reports quoted Mr. Dempsey as saying he couldn’t envisage any government supporting nuclear power, as no political party was in favor of it.

The Minister said nuclear power was not an option because of a combination of safety, security, environmental and economic reasons. The Green Paper, which will be followed by a White Paper in early 2007, sets out targets to reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported oil and gas. Instead of nuclear power, the Government strategy foresees the country’s increasing energy needs being met by renewable resources like wind power and biofuels. The strategy will also focus on improving the security of oil and gas supplies by building new interconnectors to both Northern Ireland and Britain.

Mr. Dempsey reportedly said he also hoped the Corrib gas field could come on stream as soon as possible as it would provide a major boost to indigenous energy supplies.