|Party:||Cyprus Greens - Citizens Cooperation|
R7: Stop the Akkuyu Nuclear Plant
The disaster at the nuclear plant in Fukushima (11 March 2011) is a strong
example of what we may expect from a nuclear power station. The plant could not
resist the impact of a 9-degree (on the Richter scale) earthquake and the
consequential tsunami. Can such events be considered as accidents which may
always happen? How risky is it to build nuclear plants in seismogenic areas and
why not encourage the use of renewable energy resources? This challenge applies
in the case of Akkuyu.
- AM-9-2 Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
- AM-15-1 Groen
- AM-18-1 Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologist Greens
- AM-17-1 Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologist Greens
The impact of a failure in the safety systems at such a plant or an earthquake
is a high risk with inevitably catastrophic consequences for the region. Even
the everyday operation of a nuclear plant represents a danger for human beings,
aquatic life and the environment in general due to its
radioactive waste and the thermal pollution of seawater. Following explanations
from the Russian constructing company Rosatom, waste products are supposed to be
transported by air to Russia for treatment and brought back to Turkey to be
buried for some decades. However, further to the technical environmental and
safety issues, risks are significantly higher due to the political instability
in the region. To be more accurate, the term ‘peaceful use’ of nuclear power is
Within the perspective of the adequate use of renewable sources’ energy
potential, Turkey does not need to rely on nuclear power. The environmental
impact assessment studies have not been fully documented – having not considered
all aspects – and furthermore, have not been carried out using a legally sound
The whole issue now needs to be considered in the light of recent developments
in the area, especially in Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion of the country.
The consequences of this endless war, including seizing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear
power – i.e. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant –and blackmail over the use of
nuclear weapons, underline the nuclear threat we are all facing.
The European Green Party, in line with the relevant resolution of the European
Parliament of April 2016, calls on the Turkish Government to stop the
construction plans for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
The Cyprus Green Party – Citizens’ Cooperation has been fighting the plans for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear plant since November 1997. To this end, we have been in close cooperation with other parties in the region, mainly in Turkey and Greece. The said task, although initiated on the occasion of the Akkuyu issue, due to its close vicinity to Cyprus and other particular features, was soon addressed more widely, especially within the Mediterranean Green Parties Network for a No-Nukes Mediterranean.
In Cyprus, in 2015, the Green Party played a decisive role in establishing and operating the Cyprus Anti-Nuclear Platform comprising organisations from all over the country. For some years now, it has been increasing society’s awareness of the risk from the ongoing construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant on Turkey’s southern coast, very close to the island. Based on recent information, it is expected that one of the four reactors will be operational by October 2023, marking the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
The environmental impact assessment studies have not been fully documented – having not considered all aspects – and furthermore, have not been carried out using a legally sound procedure. This was confirmed in Turkey’s Accession Report of 2015 which states:
4.15. Chapter 15: Energy EU (p.48) ... On nuclear energy, nuclear safety and radiation protection, no progress can be reported on alignment with the acquis. The intergovernmental agreement with Japan to build Turkey’s second nuclear power plant, in Sinop, was ratified in May. Construction of the marine structures of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, in Akkuyu, has already started. However, the law on acceding to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management has not been adopted. The same goes for the draft framework law on nuclear energy and radiation and the establishment of an independent regulatory authority.
4.27. Chapter 27: Environment and climate change (p.76) …Turkey amended its environment horizontal legislation in November 2014 by introducing environmental impact assessment requirements for projects started after May 2013. Civil society remains critical of the inadequate level of public consultations and of procedural requirements. Several cases are being challenged in court, including the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and micro-hydro power plants. Procedures for transboundary consultations have not been aligned with the acquis. Turkey has not yet sent to the relevant Member States its draft for general bilateral agreements on environmental impact assessment cooperation in a transboundary context. Alignment with the Strategic Environmental Assessments Directive is still pending. Provisions on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters established in the UN Economic Commission for Europe Aarhus Convention also have yet to be aligned with. This would in particular provide a clear framework for solving ongoing disputes on investment decisions with substantial impacts on the environment and climate change.
The report was discussed in the European Parliament: in the Resolution of 14 April 2016, the European Parliament:
22. Calls on the Turkish Government to halt its plans for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant; points out that the envisaged site is located in a region prone to severe earthquakes, hence posing a major threat not only to Turkey but to the Mediterranean region as a whole; requests accordingly that the Turkish Government join the Espoo Convention, which commits its parties to notifying and consulting each other on major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries; asks the Turkish Government to involve, or at least consult, the governments of its neighbouring countries, such as Greece and Cyprus, during any further developments in the Akkuyu venture.
Since then, there has been no practical response from Turkey to this resolution; on the contrary, the construction of the Akkuyu plant is going ahead according to the Turkish Government’s plans.
- AM-1-1 (Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologist Greens)
- AM-1-2 (GroenLinks)
- AM-4-1 (Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologist Greens)
- AM-7-1 (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)
- AM-9-2 (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)
- AM-15-1 (Groen)
- AM-17-1 (Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologist Greens)
- AM-18-1 (Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologist Greens)
- AM-23-1 (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)
- AM-24-1 (GroenLinks)
- AM-28-1 (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)
- AM-28-2 (Oikologoi Prasinoi / Ecologists Greens)
- AM-31-1 (GroenLinks)