Nuclear power supplies about 30 percent of the European Union’s electricity and Turkey is moving forward with its plans to build its own nuclear power plant which would also be the first for the Turks. Thousands of protestors lined the streets of Istanbul expressing fears in light of Japan’s latest nuclear mishap.
Take a look at the European Nuclear Society’s Website here and it may surprise you to see that France is leading the way with 58 nuclear power plants and another under construction. The Russian Federation has 32 with 11 more in-process.
Media reports out of the European Union state that leaders recently agreed that reactors in all 27 member nations need to undergo further safety tests. While severe earthquakes are relatively rare in the European community, we must remember that Turkey experienced a quake in 1999 that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale and killed some 20,000 people. Yet, news reports today indicate that Turkey is pressing ahead with the first nuclear plant and committing to three reactors beginning as early as April 2011. The neighbors in Greece are not pleased about Turkey’s pursuits either as the nuclear power station will be close to the Greek islands located on the Mediterranean coast.
The location for Turkey’s first nuclear plant will be in the Southeastern town of Akkuyu. According to the PowerTechnology website, the Russian Government has won the bid and the design specs included a facility that could withstand earthquakes of up to 6.5 on the Richter scale. Unfortunately those specifications may not be estimated high enough since the 1999 earthquake tipped the scales at 7.6 on the Richter scales.
Turkish news reports state, “The Turkish government’s positive stand on the construction of nuclear power plants, despite Japan’s recent nuclear disaster, is a threat to the country, the environment and the world.”
As for the moment Turkey isn’t talking about it, they are forging ahead.