By Dan Danaher
MONEYPOINT electricity generating station has been earmarked as a possible site for a nuclear power plant, a local county councillor has claimed.
Councillor Brian Meaney has warned that a lobby group has already made representations to the Oireachtas Committee for Transport and Communications requesting the conversion of Moneypoint to a new nuclear plant once it is decommissioned in 2025.
Speaking at a council meeting on this Monday, Councillor Meaney revealed Pro Nuclear Lobby Group BENE (Better Environment with Nuclear Energy) has stated that the coal-fired 915 MW ESB power plant at Moneypoint is the only suitable site for a nuclear power plant for Ireland.
One of the main reasons is that it is the only power plant in the country that has the existing 440 kv grid connections to distribute the power generated from a nuclear power plant. Also it is a costal location, seen as optimal when siting a nuclear power plant
According to Councillor Meaney, the need to locate a nuclear power plant in Ireland after a proposed facility in Carnsore Point in County Wexford was ruled out in the 1970s, is supported by Eirgrid, Engineers Ireland, ESB strategy, ESRI Working Paper No. 229, Forfas, The Irish Academy of Engineering and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
“The people of Clare supported the alternative to a nuclear power plant to provide the base load energy requirement for our economy. It is unlikely that Moneypoint can continue as a coal fired plant.
“With communities across Ireland saying ‘no’ to any production or distribution plans to provide for the electricity needs for Irelands future, the prospect of a nuclear power plant in County Clare is becoming real. We are sleepwalking towards the prospect of a nuclear power plant in the Banner County.
“Ireland’s citizens have to face facts and make some hard decisions if this is to be avoided,” he warned.