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Minister's stance against buying nuclear electricity is welcome

13 Jul 2006

Energy Green Paper must promote renewables and cut waste

Friends of the Earth welcomes Minister for the Environment Dick Roche's statement that Ireland should not buy electricity from UK nuclear power stations in future. His statement came in the wake of the publication of the British government's energy review on Tuesday which gave the go ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Asked on RTE's Morning Ireland whether Ireland's anti-nuclear stance was hypocritical if in future we were just going to buy electricity from British nuclear power plants Minister Roche replied:

"When you are actually doing the deal with the energy source you can say you are not going to take a source that has nuclear it in."

Pressed on the technical feasibility of such a position he responded:

"I'm not saying there's a technology, there's a very a simple way, when you are doing business you decide who you are doing your business with...What we should do when we are having the east-west interconnector is decide who we are buying the energy from and in fact determine that we won't buy it from a source which is nuclear dependent."

The Minster repeated this position speaking later on the Morning Show on East Coast FM when he said he believed we should follow through on our anti-nuclear principles in practice by not buying nuclear energy from Britain.

Friends of the Earth believes this position must be reflected in the forthcoming Energy Green Paper. And if Ireland is serious in our opposition to nuclear that the Green Paper must ensure that we cut energy waste and promote renewable alternatives adequately to rise to the twin challenges of climate crisis and dwindling oil reserves.

Commenting on Minister Roche's statement, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisín Coghlan, said:

"When the electricity interconnector between Wales and Wicklow is built there is a very simple way to keep Ireland nuclear-free, and that is money. The government must ensure that if we buy British electricity we only buy green energy. And we must put our money where our mouth is at home too. Every euro we put into cutting energy waste and providing local renewable energy now will cut our climate pollution, reduce the risk of relying on British nuclear energy, and save money later as the price of fossil fuels and pollution permits continue to rise. The forthcoming Energy Green Paper is a real opportunity to put Ireland on a low-carbon, low-cost pathway."


  1. Click here to listen to Minster Dick Roche's interview on Morning Ireland. The relevant part begins at the 3 miniutes 30 second mark.
  2. Click here for Friends of the Earth's press release calling for the government to pledge not to buy nuclear electricity on Tuesday 11th.


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