Nuclear energy and climate change


Sir, – Further to the article “Warning that Ireland will not achieve renewable energy targets without wind”, News, November 15th), wind energy has done very little to reduce Ireland’s emissions in the 20 years since we have been building wind turbines.

We need a radically new approach. We have no hope of achieving our 2020 climate agreement targets. Intermittent renewables pursued without recourse to other low-carbon baseload power, such as provided by nuclear and hydro, has proven to be an abject failure in climate terms and also leads to very expensive electricity for consumers.

The climate leaders in Europe are countries with large elements of nuclear and/or hydro, such as France, Sweden and Switzerland.

Dr James Hansen , the grandfather of the climate change movement, recently spoke at COP23, the informal name for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Bonn, and advocated for the adoption of more nuclear power to aid decarbonisation.

Germany has opened two new coal plants in the last three years.

Its emissions have been flat or rising for seven years.

Ireland needs to realise the wonder of carbon-free energy on tap though modern nuclear power generation. As Marie Curie, who was the first female to win the Nobel Prize, said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood”.– Yours, etc,



Co Limerick.