Will Derry and Belfast by the late twenties have small nuclear energy stations? We are not talking here of the giant nuclear power stations across the water.
We are talking about the new small nuclear energy plants developed by Rolls Royce. They are only a tenth above size and RR is pouring near £500m into their development. Sixteen ‘mighty mini stations’ are planned for England.
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Each mini RR nuclear energy plant can power one million homes. So two for Northern Ireland would do the job.
Note NI already uses nuclear generated electricity. Electricity is pumped undersea from Scotland to Moyle, Co Antrim by the Moyle Interconnector.
So some of this electricity will be Scottish nuclear power generated on Scottish soil. A fact those in NI who oppose nuclear energy plants on NI soil must put in their pipe and smoke.
And Northern Ireland holiday home owners in Donegal will be using French nuclear energy. The new undersea Celtic Connector links France to the Cork coast. France generates 70% of its power from nuclear.
RR’s world class nuclear energy scientists are confident of strong demand worldwide for their mighty mini nuclear energy stations. Even Republic of Ireland (RoI) might buy one by repealing prohibition of nuclear energy generation on Irish soil.
Importing nuclear energy from French soil — enough to power half a million homes — to 26 counties soil has undermined this prohibition position.
The EU move just before Christmas to rebrand nuclear energy green is a further blow to continuing RoI prohibition.
It seems therefore, North and South, a coach and four is driving through the no nuclear energy stations on our soil argument.
So in the May elections I will be asking Foyle constituency candidates what’s their vision, for Derry and Belfast, becoming part of the fast emerging new mighty mini nuclear energy age.
My vision is if mini nuclear stations generate cheaper electricity up ahead it means no six o’clock folk — those who can only afford energy at tea time in the middle of winter — then we must build them.
Tom Bradley, Londonderry
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