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Friday, October 07, 2022

A Letter to The Irish Times on Nuclear Power for Ireland



Seth Barrett Tillman, Associate Professor

Maynooth University School of Law and Criminology

Scoil an Dlí agus na Coireolaíochta Ollscoil Mhá Nuad

(academic title & affiliation for identification purposes only)


7 October 2022


The Irish Times

Letters to the Editor


RE: William Reville, ‘We need to take the nuclear option’ The Irish Times (Dublin, 6 October 2022) 8, <>


I do not doubt that today’s small modular nuclear reactors are safer than their historical large-scale predecessors. But “safer” here means with regard to accident and acts of God. The unspoken risks posed by nuclear power do not relate to accident; rather, the substantial risks posed by nuclear power relate to intentional wrongdoing in connection with crime, blackmail, terrorism, and war. Adopting nuclear power is just a way of saying you wish to lose the next war—just look at the threat posed to Europe by Russian occupation of Chernobyl and other Ukrainian nuclear facilities.


Today, Ireland is at peace: Ireland has no enemies which presently or in the near future threaten an invasion of its landmass. If you believe that this will last forever and that history is at an end, then just maybe nuclear power is a reasonable option. But if history is not over, then nuclear power puts both safety and hard-won national independence at risk.


Is mise, le meas,


Seth Barrett Tillman

Seth Barrett Tillman, Letter to the Editor, ‘Nuclear power and war: National independence at risk,’ The Irish Times (Oct. 10, 2022, 2:45 AM), <>; 

Seth Barrett Tillman, A Letter to The Irish Times on Nuclear Power for Ireland,New Reform Club (Oct. 7, 2022, 6:44 AM), <>; 

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