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Nuclear power must be considered to meet future needs -- report

Ireland needs to at least consider nuclear energy as a way to meet future energy demand and climate change targets, a report com-missioned by state agency EirGrid has concluded.

The report on Ireland's future energy needs in a low-carbon era highlights a number of options, but falls short of favouring one particular energy source over another.

The report, by a company called Poyry Energy Consulting, was about "framing the debate", said EirGrid chief executive Dermot Byrne.

The report said renewables were likely to be a major part of whatever solutions emerge, but other sources would be needed.

The nuclear option does deliver lower carbon emissions, but there was a problem of "public acceptance", it said.

Another option is carbon capture or clean coal and ordinary gas-fired stations may also continue to play a major role. The lead times to plan a nuclear station were considerable and Ireland had no nuclear regulator or industry, the report pointed out.

"Renewables and gas generation look set to play a part in all future portfolio options. There are wide and varying options for how the remainder of the portfolio will be made up," Mr Byrne added.

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