Renova’s two new reactors are expected to be operational in about a year, with the new units providing a major boost to Ireland’s renewable energy sector.
Renova Energy said it expects to have power back in about 50 homes in south-west Ireland in about two years, after the reactors shut down in early 2017.
Renova has been looking to expand the power generation capacity at the two new units in Dublin, where the plants are located, with plans to build another 1,000 megawatts of capacity in Cork.
It will be the first of the new reactors to come online, which were built in a cost-effective way by a consortium led by the French company Areva, according to the company.
Renovas current nuclear sites in the United Kingdom, Russia and Sweden are also on the way to operating reactors.
But with only four operating reactors in operation, there are concerns about the ability to meet demand.
“Renova needs to build a new nuclear site in the UK, for example, and we are now moving in that direction, but we have to build the capacity,” said Ian Cogger, chief executive of Renewable Energy Ireland.
“That means building new power generation plants.
The new plants will need to be fully compliant with the EU’s nuclear safety regulations and we need to ensure the plants operate safely and safely in the long-term.”
Renova said the plant at Eircom, near Co Meath, was “completely and totally in compliance” with EU safety regulations.
“The Eirco reactor is fully compliant to the requirements of the EU and we have a process that ensures that all of the necessary safeguards are in place,” said Mr Cogber.
“Renovacode has already spent a decade on the project, and has the expertise to build this project with the level of safety we have been able to achieve so far.”
The first reactor, called Eircon, was completed in January, and will be used for nuclear power generation in the next few years.
A second Eircast reactor will be commissioned in 2019.
Renavacode will also have a third reactor in operation in 2021, with a fourth planned in 2023.
One of the reactors is at a site in Drogheda, which is the only one of the three currently operating in Ireland.
The other two are in the French island of Corsica.
The two reactors at Echuca and Echoey in southern France, which are both scheduled to start generating power in 2021 and 2024, were due to be closed.
However, a series of upgrades at the site, including installing new safety systems and new ventilation systems, meant that the two reactors could now be operational.
They have been running since June 2017.
After the restart, Echuca will provide about 20% of Ireland’s total generation capacity.
Another reactor is expected to start up at a nearby power station, near Limerick, in 2021.
At the same site, a third unit will be built to supply electricity to some of Irelands largest cities and towns.
Renvacode said the project at Limerick is expected have a “major impact” on the regional economy and was expected to create “at least 2,500 jobs”.
The second reactor at Eire, in County Galway, is expected “to provide about 8% of the Irish electricity generation”.
A third unit, which was also being built at Erevan, in the County Clare, will be installed in 2019 and is expected as a replacement for the Echocará, the largest existing reactor in Ireland’s nuclear sector.
“Eire is the second-biggest reactor in the world, so we will be looking to extend its life in order to have a more permanent nuclear power plant in Ireland,” said Eire Energy spokesman Rory O’Donnell.
“We have to be very mindful of the safety of our reactor sites and we will monitor and take any steps necessary to ensure they are safe.”
Renovapro has a contract to supply power to the Republic of Ireland.
Renatoire said the new plants are being built to meet the demands of the region and are being designed to operate safely.
Rangers and other nuclear experts are working to ensure that they are operating safely and that the units are in a safe and safe environment.
“It’s important that they operate safely because the nuclear fuel cycle is not as simple as the gas cycle,” said Dr O’Connell.
(Editing by John Bresnahan)