Nuclear energy in Ireland must happen, argues energy expert

8 Apr 2010

Ireland must consider the nuclear power route – that’s according to Dr Bertrand Barré, scientific advisor to the French energy company, Areva Group, who was speaking at the announcement of the Engineers Ireland Annual Conference 2010.

Barré saysthedepletion of oil and gas reserves, concerns about energy security and the environmental threat of greenhouse gases all point to how Ireland must consider nuclear power.

 “Today some 440 nuclear reactors in 30 countries generate over 14pc of the world’s electricity, meeting 6pc of the world’s primary energy consumption.-*

“Over the two decades since 1985, the growth of nuclear power in the world was slow and mostly located in Asia, but recently, there is a general expectation that nuclear is going to experience a new period of sustained growth, dubbed the “renaissance” across European media,” he said. 

Nuclear not the total answer, but a component

Said Barré: “By itself, nuclear power cannot be the answer to the development versus environment dilemma, but there is no answer without a significant nuclear contribution and this applies to Ireland also.”
Engineers Ireland director-general John Power added that the contribution nuclear energy can make to Ireland’s energy mix will be one of the key discussion topics at the Engineers Ireland Annual Conference 2010.

“We will also be exploring engineers and innovation in the smart economy, whether the current education system supports Ireland’s need for engineers as well as the role engineers are playing in water management. In addition to experts from Irish industry, we will be able to hear the international perspective from a diverse speaker line-up over the two days,” said Power.

Speakers will include Dr Craig Barrett and Dr Chris Horn

Renowned faces of the IT world who will speak at  ‘Engineers – Leaders For The Next Decade’ event will include Dr Craig Barrett, former CEO/chairman of Intel, and co-founder of Iona Technologies and Engineers Ireland president, Dr Chris Horn.

Both Horn and Barrett will cover about the critical importance of the education system to the engineering sector.

The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Conor Lenihan TD will also speak on the role engineers can play in innovation, while other speakers will include John Mullins, CEO, Bord Gáis, Professor Roger Whatmore, Tyndall National Institute, Ian Quinn, Creganna, Tom Costello, John Sisk & Son, Terry Nolan, Shell, and John Lynch, DePuy.  

The Engineers Ireland Conference 2010 will take place on 22 and 23 April 2010.

By Carmel Doyle

Photo: Dr Bertrand Barré, scientific advisor to the French energy company, Areva Group. He is also professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at the Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires, INSTN, Paris

Business & Leadership is hosting a briefing on The Green Economy in May. Learn more about this event.



Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic