EU Says Turkey Nuclear Plans Unsafe

EU Says Turkey Nuclear Plans Unsafe
EU Says Turkey Nuclear Plans Unsafe

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 the EU’s energy union chief Maros Sefcovic on Sunday.

Maros 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 are 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 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. It will become fully operational in 2023 coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

"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 ruled in its latest assessment on June 10 that Turkey's nuclear plans are unsafe, urging that 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.

He highlighted that all EU member states have their sovereign right to decide on their national energy mix but added that 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.