Controlled blast at Akkuyu nuclear plant site creates political stir
A controlled blast at the construction site of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin has created a political stir and unrest in the country as many residential areas around the site were affected by the blast.
At least two citizens got injured in the blast, and many homes and greenhouses around the site got damaged, with windows broken resulting from the high intensity of the blast.
Gülnar’s District Governor Yunus Emre Bayraklı, Mayor Alparslan Ünüvar and Chief Prosecutor Tugay Çatlı paid a visit to citizens after the blast.
Bayraklı said that the detection of damages was still ongoing, and necessary financial aid would be given to those harmed.
A commission to detect damages has been appointed, and necessary works have started in connection with the matter, Mersin Governor’s Office said on Jan. 20.
“A team from the Police Forces Special Security Inspection Presidency has been tasked to investigate the blast. The matter will be evaluated from all aspects and action will be taken against those responsible,” the governor’s office stated.
Meanwhile, Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Ahmet Akın has called on the country’s energy ministry to make a statement about the blast to relieve citizens’ concerns.
The fact that such a blast occurred during the plant’s construction phase is making people “lose their sleep,” thinking about the possibility of more blasts that might happen in the future when the nuclear power plant starts to function, Akın stated.
“Though officials said the blast was controlled, the surrounding areas have been affected and damaged as its consequence,” Akın said.
“The concerned ministry should make a statement that will relieve all the citizens’ concerns, including [residents of] Mersin,” he added.
Akın also criticized policies aimed to build nuclear power plants, saying that they would always carry a risk to the safety of citizens.
He also said that establishing a nuclear plant “does not make sense” when countries across the globe are taking steps toward investing in green energy.
The CHP’s Mersin deputy, Ali Mahir Başarır, also lashed out against the plant’s construction, suggesting that everybody should oppose this, even if it was being constructed in the southern or Black Sea provinces.
“It will seriously harm seas, nature, fishes and all aquatic life,” he added.
Meanwhile, Akkuyu Nuclear Inc., the investor and owner of the construction works, made a statement about the blast, saying that the blast took place when the subcontractor company was carrying out a planned drilling and blasting works.
The company said that they, in coordination with the subcontractor firm, are providing all kinds of help and support to security forces during the ongoing investigation.
“The injured citizens have received immediate treatment. Gendarmerie officials and other institutions are continuing their works at the scene, and urgent needs of citizens residing in damaged homes are being met,” the company stated.