Nuclear power and climate crisis

Taking the long view

Sir, – Pascal Ó Deasmhumhnaigh objects to nuclear power because it takes 20 years to build a nuclear power plant (Letters, September 19th).

That’s not a good reason to reject nuclear power.

Tackling climate change will take many decades. Weaning ourselves of fossil fuels will take time. Developing green technologies will take time.

We need to be thinking, planning and acting with these long time frames in mind. Over the next 50 years or so, nuclear power might play an important role in helping us reduce carbon emissions while other technologies mature.


If we work not only together, but with the next generations in mind, we can make immense progress over the next hundred years. We need to think beyond our immediate needs and problems, and to work outside the narrow frame of short election cycles, so we can implement plans that take decades to accomplish. If a cathedral takes a hundred years to build, the work in the final decades might be the most rewarding, but that point would not have been reached if not for the imagination, dedication and effort of those that dug the foundations for a building they knew they would never see built in their lifetime. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – There has been a certain amount of discussion, both on this page and elsewhere, about the benefits or otherwise of nuclear power. Considering the length of time it takes to construct non-controversial infrastructure such as hospitals and public transport, I think it is safe to say that very few of us will still be around if we ever get to build a nuclear power station in Ireland. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.

Sir, – Objectors to the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk have won their legal case that the UK government had failed to assess the full environmental impact of the project when granting planning permission, despite the planning application including a 44,260-page environmental assessment. We can only guess at the delays any such project would meet here. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.