Dáil Éireann - Volume 668 - 25 November, 2008
Written Answers. - Nuclear Power.
Deputy Mary Upton Deputy Mary Upton
Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, further to Parliamentary Question No. 480 of 18 November 2008, if he plans to launch a national debate on the merits and dangers surrounding nuclear power; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42708/08]
Deputy Eamon Ryan Deputy Eamon Ryan
Deputy Eamon Ryan: I have consistently encouraged a debate on nuclear power in Ireland and it is clear that there is a range of views and perspectives on the matter. Informed debate on nuclear energy, as indeed with all dimensions of energy policy, is fundamental to ensuring informed policy making. In my view the appropriate forum for such a debate is the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security. The Committee could provide a forum for all parties of the House to contribute to a structured and informed debate on the issue. For my own part, I have stated firmly on the record that nuclear power is neither sustainable nor the answer to Ireland’s energy needs. Our position is shared by several EU Member States and the EU Commission has made it repeatedly clear that it is for Member States to determine their own energy mix.
Any debate on nuclear power should be set in the context of the actions that the Government is taking to deliver fully sustainable and diverse energy resources in transport, heating and power generation. In each of the three areas of energy use, I firmly believe that we have sustainable solutions. It is a matter of accelerating delivery on our targets for renewable energies and energy efficiency. Radically improving energy efficiency and achieving the ambitious renewable energy target set by the Government will ensure that energy demand itself is more  sustainable. Energy efficiency is a fundamental part of the Government’s strategy to address energy costs, security of supply and sustainable energy use.
Dáil Éireann 668 Written Answers. Nuclear Power.