Written Answers. - Nuclear Energy.

Fergus O'Brien

Ceist:

66 Mr. O'Brien asked the Minister for Energy whether, as President of the Council of Energy Ministers, he plans any discussions on the recent European Commission suggestions of a doubling of nuclear power generating capacity within the Community by 2010; and if he will outline the Irish Government's response to the European Commission policy to step up dependence on nuclear power.

I assume the Deputy refers to the Illustrative Programme for Nuclear Energy published in February by the EC Commission acting on its own responsibility under Article 40 of the Euratom Treaty. The illustrative programme gives forecasts of the position of nuclear energy over the next two years, and is an update of the illustrative programme published in 1985.

The updated programme deals specifically with the impact which the internal market will have on the nuclear industry.
As Deputies will be aware, it is the policy of this Government that Ireland will remain a non-nuclear country, and we are working for a more nuclear safety conscious Community. Certain other countries share our concerns. However, 7 EC member states have nuclear power, and many will continue to work to increase the market share of nuclear generation in their countries. The illustrative programme takes this into account.