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12 February 2004 Edition

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Nuclear power by the back door

One of the more incredible announcements of the week was that from Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Dermot Ahern, who has given the green light to importing electicity from Sellafield.

Electricity interconnectors will be built between Ireland and Wales, he says. The fact that we will then be buying in electricity produced at a plant the Dublin Government is trying to have closed down because of the huge health risk it poses to the Irish people apparently escapes the minister.

And shouldn't the government be concentrating on the creation of an all-Ireland energy policy and infrastructure, aimed at increasing the percentage of energy produced from renewable sources.

Ireland's geographical position and natural resources mean we have the potential to lead the world in the generation of renewable energy. Our goals should be efficient, cost-effective, state-led development of natural and renewable energy resources focused on ending external dependencies.

This decision comes on the heels of a decision not to increase the level of energy generated from renewable resources such as wind power. The Government should be nurturing the renewable energy industry through public and local enterprise solutions.

It is a disgrace that an Irish government is even considering this dirty deal, but those with long memories will recall that it was a Fianna Fáil government that proposed building a nuclear power stattion at Carnsore Point.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1