Written answers

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Nuclear Plants

10:00 pm

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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Question 787: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views on whether nuclear energy has a role to play in reducing Ireland's dependancy on non-renewable energy sources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17226/07]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South, Green Party)
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Under the Programme for Government we will dramatically accelerate the growth of renewable energy sources in the electricity, heating and transport sectors of the economy. One third of all electricity consumed will come from renewable energy by 2020. Accelerated progress in the use of renewable sources in both the heating and transport sectors will reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources. Radically improved energy efficiency and demand management will lead to real reductions in energy use and thus reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources. Taken together therefore, sustained reductions in demand due to efficiency gains and steadily expanding our deployment of clean renewable fuels will be key to reducing over reliance on oil and gas.

The use of nuclear fission for the generation of electricity in Ireland is statutorily prohibited under Section 18 subsection 6 of the Electricity Regulation Act 1999. It is also relevant in this context that Section 3 of the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 Act amends the Planning and Development Act 2000 to state that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed as enabling the authorisation of development consisting of an installation for the generation of electricity by nuclear fission."

The Energy Policy Framework makes it clear that the Government fully intends to maintain the statutory prohibition on nuclear generation in Ireland. The Government strongly believes that nuclear power is neither sustainable nor an answer to Ireland's energy needs. The actions set out in the Programme for Government in relation to nuclear energy and Sellafield are a clear statement of our position and our intent in Europe in relation to nuclear energy.

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