Cyprus Mail

A ticking nuclear bomb off our coast

The construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant was suspended during the Russia-Turkey political tensions. However, it is now on the agenda again. Akkuyu is only 90km away from our island. In case of an accident it is very likely that Cyprus will be affected.

Turkey is a country with a history of recurring industrial accidents and terrorism. In addition to this, Turkey is on active fault lines that can create huge damage to the power plant. Turkey should not take this risk with no return.

In 2013 October, the Turkish authorities attempted to initiate the construction of the power plant without waiting for the approval of an environmental impact assessment but was stopped by the High Court. In December 2014, the highly controversial environmental report was approved and the construction began.

This week Turkey’s Energy Minister Nihat Zeybekci removed all legal obstacles for the construction of the plant to accelerate construction. I am extremely worried about the safety, risk of radiation leakage and how they are going to deal with wastes. It does not make sense to me why the Turkish government is really keen on nuclear and coal power plants. Turkey has very high renewable energy potential that can be used to drive its economy. This will not only help Turkey to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, it will also lead the country towards energy independence. Turkish and Greek Cypriots, and also people in Turkey all need to collaborate with each other to stop this risky project. This beautiful small island belongs to all of us and we do not have else where to go.

Ergün Bey, Cyprus Green Action Group administrative campaign and research assistant

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