Climate change and nuclear energy

 

Sir, – In all the talk of decarbonising our society, there is no mention of nuclear power. It is not mentioned in the Citizens’ Assembly report.

Moneypoint coal-fired power station is a huge carbon emitter. It is due for closure around 2025.

There is no talk of what will replace this important base load station, which runs day and night. Wind and solar are necessarily intermittent.

I’m not talking about the very large plants such as are currently being constructed in Finland and England, which, as well as being vastly over budget, are too big for the Irish grid. There is currently a lot of work ongoing for the design of small modular reactors (SMRs). Three or four of these would be suitable replacements for the three units in Moneypoint. They’re not commercial yet but are likely to be available in the next five years or so.

These can be factory constructed and have passive safety systems, ie they do not require an alternative independent power supply in the event of an accident.

Cleary we can’t go out and buy one tomorrow, and we’ll have to wait and see how costly they are and how well they operate. But they should be under active consideration.

It seems madness to me that we can’t even discuss nuclear in Ireland.– Yours, etc,

VINCENT MURPHY,

Cork.