Ministry approves controversial environmental report of Turkey’s first nuclear plant
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Photos and video footage of the Akkuyu nuclear plant construction, ongoing despite legal restrictions, were released by Greenpeace in February. DHA PhotoTurkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry has approved the environment assessment report for a nuclear power plant construction project in the Akkuyu district of the southern province of Mersin.
The over 3,000-page report has been prepared for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which will be built by Russia’s Rosatom.
The ministry’s move comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin makes an official visit to Turkey for discussions on economic ties and the crisis in Syria and Iraq.
In 2011, Russian company Rosatom signed an agreement with the Turkish Energy Ministry to build and operate the nuclear power plant. The Akkuyu plant on the Mediterranean coast will require investment worth $22 billion, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said in an interview two months ago.
The approval of the report has been slammed by environmental activists and scientists alike, who argued that its content provided serious warnings that the plant could hurt the region’s ecosystem once it comes operational.
The report, which has been widely revised after being returned three times over the past two years, states that the water needed to cool the four-reactor plant will be supplied from Mediterranean Sea and will be poured back to sea. However, it claims that this process does not pose any danger to any species living in the habitat.
The start of construction for the plant is scheduled for mid-2015, while pressure by the government has already increased as the project still has to obtain a construction license. By 2023, all four planned reactors are slated to have started generating power.