Ireland’s energy needs


Sir, – Dr John Doherty’s suggestion (Letters, October 4th) that, rather than building an interconnector to France, Ireland might build its own nuclear power plant is an interesting one and worthy of serious consideration. However, given the opposition to nuclear power that still obtains in some quarters in this country, it is unlikely that a nuclear plant could be built in as little as five years, as is the case in China.

I was also interested to read John FitzGerald’sarticle in Business Week (October 4th), where he correctly points out that to augment wind generated electricity, significant traditional gas- or coal-fired generation is also required to ensure a stable supply when the wind is not blowing. What Prof FitzGerald didn’t point out is that, given that France generates roughly 80 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power, most if not all the electricity imported into Ireland from France would come from this source rather than from gas-fired or coal-fired stations. In either scenario, nuclear power would provide a carbon-free reliable base-load source of electricity.

If we do opt for the interconnector, how will those who cannot countenance the building of a nuclear power plant in Ireland react? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 22.

Sir, – I refer to Dr John Doherty’s idea that we should build our own nuclear plant, instead of importing France’s nuclear energy. It is a logical, sensible and climate-benefiting idea, but as with all such great ideas, such as the mice wanting to put a bell on the cat, I would ask where would we build the plant. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 12.