May 12 2018

Akkuyu expert report underestimates effects of a nuclear disaster

Civil society organizations in the southern city of Mersin objected to an expert report prepared for the construction of a nuclear plant, accusing the report of underestimating the effects of a nuclear disaster, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Saturday. 

The plant, located in Akkuyu on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is to be constructed in a joint Russian-Turkish project with Russian energy company Rosatom the majority stakeholder. Russia’s president Putin attended the plant’s ground-breaking ceremony on Apr. 3.

Environmentalist in Turkey are concerned about the potentially destructive ecological consequences of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

Several organisations form Mersin filed a lawsuit to stop the construction of the plant earlier and the expert report was prepared for the court’s ruling. “In case of a disaster, the evidence shows that the level of radiation affecting people’s health and security will not exceed the limits set by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority,” the report said. 

Lawyer Arif Ali Cangı, representing the Mersin Medical Chamber, said that the report was almost praising nuclear plants. “The report takes a reactor that broke down three months after its operation as an example, and shows a Russian technology which has never been run before as if it had been,” Cangı said.

“The effects of radiation that will be spread in case of a disaster on people’s health can continue for generations. It is very risky,” Fail Uğurhan from Mersin Anti-Nuclear Platform, said to Cumhuriyet.