Galway Senator Niall Ó Brolcháin urges the new Government to focus on renewable energy resources and to rule out nuclear power generation as an option for Ireland.
As a result of extensive lobbying by pro-nuclear campaigners, Ó Brolcháin has demonstrated concern over whether the Government has left the door open for a possible move towards nuclear power in the agreed Programme for Government. The previous FG-Labour Government introduced mass burn incinerators onto the Irish political agenda.
“Nuclear power must not be allowed back onto the Irish political agenda. It is not sustainable and is not suitable for Ireland for many reasons, including health, safety and basic economics, as well as the many environmental concerns that will increase after recent events in Japan."
The earthquake that hit Japan on Friday has caused severe damage to nuclear plants, producing high radiation levels. Japan, which plans to build more nuclear power plants, is facing growing public opposition due to concerns over the safety of nuclear energy, following a series of explosions at earthquake-damaged reactors in Japan.
“Apologists for the nuclear industry, such as Prof Philip Walton of BENE and Senator Feargal Quinn, have been increasingly vocal in recent times, they are right about the energy crisis with oil prices over US$100 per barrel, but I would disagree with them that nuclear power provides an answer for Ireland," Ó Brolcháin said.
Ó Brolcháin believes Ireland should focus on green technology, saying, “Ireland can become the world leader in renewable energy. Wind energy capacity more than doubled in the lifetime of the last Government. It can double again during the lifetime of the current Government, providing many thousands of new jobs.”
“Ireland also has great opportunities to develop many other types of renewable energy, including ocean energy, biogas and solar energy.
“Recent lobbying by groups, such as BENE, serves to highlight our very real need to address the energy security issue with around 90pc of our energy requirement coming from imported fossil fuels, however, nuclear energy is not the right option," concluded Ó Brolcháin.
Ó Brolcháin has worked for 16 years in IT as a systems and business analyst, and has started two businesses. He campaigns for a sustainable Ireland that is self-sufficient in renewable energy.