Chamber to sue state over abrupt green light to Turkey?s first nuclear plant

Works to clear the area where the plant will be built are already ongoing, although the official start of construction is set for spring 2015. DHA Photo

Turkey?s rebellious Chamber of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) is set to open a lawsuit against the Environment Ministry after it hurriedly approved a highly controversial environmental report on Turkey?s first nuclear plant, ending months of legal wrangling a day ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin?s visit to Ankara last month.

The chamber, which has irked the government for filing objections to contentious construction projects across Turkey, said the final decision regarding the plant slated to be built in the eastern Mediterranean locality of Akkuyu was given by the minister himself, without any consultation with a nuclear expert at the decision-making stage.

?Can you imagine that the Environment Ministry, which approved the environmental impact assessment report [regarding the Akkuyu plant], doesn?t even have one nuclear engineer or expert?? said Baran Bozo?lu, the head of the Environmental Engineers? Chamber.

The plant will be built by the Russian company Rosatom, and with time running out before the scheduled date for the start of construction, mid-2015, many saw in the timing of the report?s approval a message to Putin that the legal woes had ended.

The final committee approving the environmental assessment report has its own department in the ministry. Bozo?lu said the final decision was submitted to Minister ?dris Güllüce, who has the last word regarding any project.

He said the decision could not be entrusted as a thorough assessment regarding the processing of nuclear waste was lacking.

One of the most problematic aspects was the assessment on the water needed to cool the four-reactor plant that will be supplied from the Mediterranean before being poured back into the sea.


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