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Increased calls for nuclear energy use in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | April 24, 2011 | 4:46 AM

Professor Gerald Lalor has renewed his call for nuclear technology to be introduced in Jamaica.

This, despite safety concerns raised by the meltdown at Japan’s Dai-ichi nuclear power plant and the Golding administration’s rejection of atomic energy as a near-term contributor to Jamaica’s energy grid.

Professor Lalor joins a list of influential persons who continue to advocate for nuclear energy to be used as a cheap and safe source of electricity for the island. The noted professor issued the call while participating in a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on alternative energy last week. He insisted that the use of nuclear energy was the only viable route to “energy security” for Jamaica.

Professor Lalor has also received strong backing from Zia Mian, who heads the Government’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).

Mian agreed that as an energy source, nuclear was not only cheap, but that the credibility of the technology was impeccable. Both men agreed that it could bring down the cost of energy to help jump-start the island’s sluggish economy should the government adopt their approach .

Oil accounts for more than 90 per cent of Jamaica’s energy source. The island imports more than 26 million barrels of the fuel annually.