Feb 28 2011 Posted: 00:00 GMT
Philip Walton, Emeritus Professor of Physics at NUI Galway, and nationally-renowned nuclear energy expert, will lead a free public talk at the University on Wednesday, 9 March. 'Nuclear Power for Ireland: Facts and Fiction' will discuss all aspects of nuclear power as it relates to Ireland. Historically the Irish Government's policy has been firmly opposed to nuclear energy on the grounds of the risks it poses, yet some argue that nuclear energy is one of the cleanest, safest and economic forms of energy available to mankind today. Professor Walton will be joined by Professor Ian McAulay and Mr Denis Duff to explain why they believe Ireland should adopt nuclear energy as an important part of our energy mix. All three are members of the Better Environment with Nuclear Energy (BENE) group. According to Professor Walton, nuclear power has been employed successfully over the past 50 years by many countries yet Ireland continues to reject it. He says, "We cannot afford to continue to reject this power source out-of-hand, while we continue to rely on fossil fuel imports for most of our electricity production. This is simply untenable." He continues: "Wind energy will not be able to supply even 40 per cent of our electricity without major changes to our electricity system, and even then it is not certain if this can be achieved. What we can consider are modern safe reactors which would fit with little or no need for modifications to the National Grid. It would be possible to have a number of these plants providing jobs and safe, clean environments in a number of areas of Ireland. We would then have reliable energy, independent of dwindling fossil fuel supplies with their world price fluctuations. For the sake of homes and businesses in the future, the least we can do is to understand the fact from fiction in this whole debate." The event takes place at 6.30 pm on Wednesday, 9 March, in the Colm O'hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. To book a place at the event, contact Adam Beatty, Physics Society, NUI Galway, on 087 9055911 or physicsnuig@gmail.com