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Irish government rules out nuclear power despite energy crisis

The Irish government will not be investing in nuclear power to secure Ireland’s energy supply, despite years of looming energy crises.

That is what Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said this week, as reported by Newstalk.

“My own view and the view of the Government is that the future for Ireland is renewable energy. It’s not nuclear,” said McGrath.

The comments were made in response to John Powers, President of Engineers Ireland, who said that the technology behind nuclear power is now “very well regulated [and] they’re very, very safe.”

However, McGrath expressed his outright opposition to the idea of constructing nuclear Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), doubling down on Energy Minister Eamon Ryan’s stance earlier this year when he also ruled the technology out. Ryan argued that nuclear power was too expensive, compared to renewable energy, which he claimed was cheaper.

The development comes as an Oireachtas committee has been told that Ireland’s energy crisis will likely not only last this winter, but into next winter as well.

“This is a big crisis, and this is a crisis which we expect to last”, said Cillian O’Donoghue, Policy Director at Eurelectric, adding that the crisis “will probably last at least eighteen months.”

O’Donoghue added that next winter would be even more difficult from an energy supply perspective, because European states this winter have managed to fill their reserves to 91% with Russian gas.

“Next winter we will not have this option,” he said.

The energy crisis has already begun to claim financial victims in mainland Europe, with four German companies, each over 125 years old, being declared insolvent within a 24 hour period due to energy and inflation costs.

Despite these looming crises, however the Irish government continues to oppose fossil fuel energy sources such as a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Kerry.

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