Controversial Nuclear Power Plant Set to Begin Construction in Turkey

Image via Flickr by Tobin

Turkey strongly depends on other countries for their energy. Therefore, they want to build a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, which is in the Turkish province of Mersin. However, several groups object to the power plant because of concerns over the environment, the impact of people living nearby, and radioactive waste disposal. Despite the controversy, Turkey plans to start construction by the middle of 2015.

Greenpeace and many other environmental groups have submitted their concerns about the nuclear power plant to the environmental ministry. However, it may be too late to reverse the decision to build the power plant. Devin Bahceci, an activist from the organization Greenpeace said, “To date, we do not know what to expect. The project is extremely non-transparent and it’s frustrating.”

The nuclear power plant will be built with help from the Russian company Rosatom. The Turkish government is determined to implement nuclear power despite criticism. They want to generate 30 percent of their electricity locally. Of course, the plan involves the construction of two more nuclear power plants besides the one in Akkuyu by the end of 2023.

Currently, 72 percent of Turkey’s energy comes from imports. On top of this, the country’s energy consumption has doubled in only a decade. Turkey can no longer sit around and depend on other countries for their energy. That’s why the nuclear power plants are such a big deal to them and environmental activists might not have a say.

Environmental activists say it is important to note that there are alternative options to nuclear power. For instance, Turkey already has wind and solar energy. These renewable resources could be expanded and tapped further to supply Turkey with energy. The Turkish government could easily grant more licenses for the construction and running of these energy sources.

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