While the discussions on a gradual phase out from Nuclear power continues in the EU, its neighbour and membership candidate Turkey is planning the construction of three nuclear power plants, first to be built in its history.
Last July, The Environmental Impact Assesment report of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, one of the plants that is planned to be constructed at the Akkuyu province of Mersin – Gülnar was evaluated at a meeting held in Ankara by the Investigation and Evaluation Committee. This was the third time the EIA report of the Nuclear Power Plant was presented to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. ENV.net partner from Turkey, TEMA Foundation participated to the meeting along with other CSOs and concerned citizens. Herewith, we would like to share some of the findings and assessments about the EIA report and voice following concerns:
There is no emergency action plan for possible accidents that may occur during the transportation of waste
It is envisioned that Russian origin used nuclear fuel can be sent back to the Russian Federation and there it can be reprocessed. There is nothing in the report about the risks that may occur during the transport of used nuclear fuel to Russia through Bosporus and Dardanelles Strait. There is no reference in the report to the issue of an emergency plan or liabilities in case of a potential accident in these straits which host one of the most crowded marine traffics in the World.
Waste disposal is based on a legislation that doesn’t exist yet
It is said that off-site management (storage, reprocessing and disposal) of spent fuel and radioactive waste will be in a new legislation. To organize a law or manage something through none exist legislation is against law.
The reactor to be used is contrary to the TAEK Legislation and “Has been tested” statement is still breaking
It is planned to use VVER-1200 model reactor in Akkuyu Nuclear central. This reactor is just built as a prototype in Russia and started to build this year. Using this reactor in Akkuyu project is going against TAEK criteria’s. The reactor has to be up to date and has to be tested .
There are too many missing sections on Emergency protective action plans
It isn’t specifying according to which criteria that Emergency protective action planning area determined as 5, 4 km. It is known that in case of any nuclear accident a much larger area is affected. There is nothing about that in the report.
There is nothing on negative effects of Climate Change and Sea Ecosystem in EIA report
It is said that trough four units of the central, it is possible to block 17,000 kiloton’s of CO2. The problem is this is just the CO2 from the production of electricity; it is going to be more in the building process of the central.
The report shows that a big percentage of the water that will be used for cooling the reactor would be taken from the sea and would be discharged back to the sea with a 10 o C increase in temperature. But the report has nothing on how the increase in the sea water temperature will affect which species and the sea ecosystem.
Also it is mentioned that the sea water, after desalinization and demineralization will be used for the needs of the facility as potable and daily use water. But the report does not contain any information on how the water will be taken from the sea and its effects on the fishes, seals, oysters and the like and fish cubs and larvae. Although the report shows which chemicals will be used for desalinization and demineralization, there is nothing about their disposal.
During the site selection at 1976, the choice of Akkuyu, made by using the technologies that were used 25 years ago, should be taken under reconsideration. The site chosen for the plant is highly tectonic and open to landslides and the unrest in Middle East is another factor that will adversely affect the choice. The site chosen for the plant is highly prone to accidents and explosions and is open for an attack by enemy forces.