The European Commission answered the question posed by M. Kyrkos regarding the Nuclear Power Plant in Akkuyu, Turkey.
The answer was given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission.
The Commission is aware that concerns have been raised about the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) in Akkuyu. The Commission notes nevertheless the nuclear stress test assessment report prepared by Turkey, covering also seismic risks, which is available online. This report is still to be assessed. However, it is not for the Commission to take a position on the suitability of sites for the construction of NPPs in third countries.
In view of the proximity of the proposed plant, the Commission carried out a verification mission in Cyprus in March 2015 pursuant to Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty in order to assess in particular emergency radiation monitoring arrangements. The mission's report will be publicly available in autumn 2015.
The Commission has also suggested Ecurie membership to Turkey, but so far Turkey is still not officially part of the ECURIE system. Turkey however participates in Eurdep. In the context of Turkey's accession process to the EU, the Commission continues to urge Turkey to develop an adequate legal, regulatory and administrative framework that ensures a high level of nuclear safety.
As a candidate country, Turkey is expected to progressively align its legislation with the Euratom acquis, including the provisions of the amended Nuclear Safety Directive. This directive specifically requires that nuclear installations are designed, sited, constructed, commissioned, operated and decommissioned with the objective of preventing accidents and, should an accident occur, mitigating its consequences.
The question posed my M. Kyrkos:
On 14 April, Turkey launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, a region located on the coastline of Asia Minor. The plant’s four reactors are expected to start operating in 2020. Numerous bodies in Turkey, as well as in neighbouring countries, have warned that the construction of nuclear power plants in a particularly earthquake-prone region — literally on an active earthquake-prone fault line — puts the wider area in great danger.
In view of the above, will the Commission say:
- Is it worried about the possible construction of nuclear power plants in highly earthquake-prone regions, close to European borders?
- Has Turkey, as a candidate country, harmonised its legislation with the acquis on nuclear power, including the nuclear safety directive, as it is obligated to do?
- Finally, according to international conventions and best practices, the use of nuclear power as a source of electric power production must be based on the ability of each country to ensure a high level of safety, protection and assurances during the entire life cycle of a nuclear power facility. Does Turkey fulfil these conditions?