EU Energy Union: Turkey should develop nuclear safety in line with EU

EU Energy Union: Turkey should develop nuclear safety in line with EU

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
EU Energy Union: Turkey should develop nuclear safety in line with EU For Turkey’s accession process to the European Union, it needs to develop an adequate framework to ensure a high level of nuclear safety, said EU energy union chief Maros Sefcovic on June 19.

Sefcovic, the vice-president of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union, told Anadolu Agency that Turkey’s nuclear safety should be in line with the Euratom Treaty and secondary legislation.

The aims of the Euratom Treaty were to establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and the general public and to foster progress in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

“The European Commission is aware of the Akkuyu nuclear plant project. It is not for the European Commission to take a position on the suitability of the construction of a nuclear plant in Akkuyu, but the commission is assessing the nuclear stress test assessment report prepared by Turkey which also covers seismic issues,” according to Sefcovic.

The European Parliament (EP) ruled in its latest assessment on June 10 that Turkey’s nuclear plans were unsafe, urging the construction of the country’s first nuclear plant be stopped. The EP’s report also contained a section recommending that approval be sought from neighboring countries on nuclear projects.

“The EU does not intervene in EU member states’ choice of energy mix,” Sefcovic said.

He highlighted all EU member states have their sovereign right to decide on their national energy mix, but added this must be in line with EU law.

“Our policy in the nuclear area aims to ensure that member states using nuclear energy comply with the highest safety standards, radiological protection and waste management,” he explained.

He added Turkey was expected to align its legislation with the EU’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive with respect to trans-boundary issues.
Meanwhile, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said on June 15 the EP was not objective in its nuclear report on Turkey. Yıldız challenged accusations the plant would be built on fault lines which could lead to a risk of earthquakes.  

The construction of the Akkuyu nuclear plant will begin in 2016 and Russia’s state-owned nuclear company, Rosatom, will have operating rights on the $22 billion plant.