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European Parliament votes against Turkey's upcoming nuclear power plant

  • 13 Mar 2019

The parliament has called on Turkey to halt constructing a nuclear power plant and consult Greece and Greek Cypriots for negotiations.

Members of the European Parliament in session in Strasbourg, France, February 13, 2019. ( Reuters )

The European Parliament (EP) debated over the construction of Turkey's first nuclear energy reactor, Akkuyu, and voted to call on the Turkish government to halts its building on Wednesday. 

Prior to discussing the nuclear reactor the EP's Committee on Foreign Affairs had prepared a report, in which Turkey was accused of acting against the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, also known as the Espoo Convention, signed in Espoo, Finland, in 1991, and implemented in 1997.

The countries that have recognised Espoo are obliged to make an environmental impact assessment before building a nuclear power reactor. 

Turkey, however, did not ratify the Espoo agreement, according to the United Nations Economic Commission of Europe.

The EP report is simply making assumptions about the environmental impact of Akkuyu, and asking Ankara to take Greece and Greek Cypriots on board before completing the nuclear power plant.  

According to the report, the Turkish government should "involve, or at least consult, the governments of the neighbouring countries, such as Greece and Cyprus, in relation to any further developments in the Akkuyu venture."

According to Sputnik new agency, the European Parliament is trying to disturb Turkish-Russian relations as the Akkuyu plant, comprising four units, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will be built by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency, Rosatom.

As of now, 15 European Union countries have 130 nuclear power reactors and six more reactors are under construction, according to the European Nuclear Society.

France has 58 nuclear reactors with 63,130 megawatts net capacity, and the country is building one more nuclear plant.

Slovakia and Finland are building similar nuclear plants.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant via video conference last year.

The Akkuyu plant in Turkey's southern Mersin province is slated to be functional in 2023. It will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.

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