Ballylumford power station could be used to produce nuclear power, according to a new policy document from the Workers’ Party.

The document, entitled ‘Let’s Get Real: A Plan For Nuclear Power in Ireland,’ claims that nuclear energy is cheap, safe and affordable, and details a number of possible sites around Ireland, including the Co. Antrim station.

Workers’ Party spokesperson Peter Sullivan said:

“One of the key benefits of having nuclear reactors in Ballylumford would be that it could provide district heating. Many European cities make use of district heating through Combined Heat & Power systems, in which waste heat from thermal generation plants is used to supply hot water to homes in the surrounding area. Given the rising costs of energy, this is particularly relevant.”

“Ballylumford also has a planned hydrogen production project. Nuclear power is great for hydrogen production since it is always on.”

“The size of a site needed to host nuclear reactors is comparable to the existing plant in Ballylumford. Though some would of course have reservations about such a proposal, there are clear local benefits as well, including an improvement in the quality of air and water locally, and the retention of skilled employment which would inevitably be lost when such carbon-intensive plants are eventually decommissioned.”

“Beyond the immediate local area, we believe that Ireland as a whole could benefit from nuclear reactors being located here. Given the integration of the electricity sector north and south, this could benefit people from Coleraine to Cork.”

“The elephant in the room, however, is safety. Nuclear, in fact, has the lowest cost of human life per unit of energy produced, according to an EU-wide survey. Another showed that it is even safer than wind or solar. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year, primarily through air pollution. If we are serious about moving away from that, we need to start thinking and talking about nuclear power.”

“The Workers’ Party would encourage anybody with concerns on the topic to read our policy paper, which details how we can have economic growth that benefits working people, powered by safe, efficient and affordable nuclear power.”