Bicommunal action against Akkuyu nuclear power plant held in Nicosia

A human chain was formed on Thursday night in a bicommunal action against the opening of a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, Turkey.

Young people, elderly and children, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots from more than 40 parties, organizations, movements, unions, trade unions and professional groups holding candles and some of them wearing gas masks, lined up to honour Chernobyl victims with a minutes silence. A large banner wrote “Nuclear Free Mediterranean” and another one “Not in Nuclear” in all three languages, Greek, English and Turkish.

A joint statement was read in both Greek and Turkish noting that nuclear power plants are a very important issue as not only are they a threat to the environment but primarily can affect the health and safety of the people of the surrounding areas. A possible leak could pose a huge risk to both workers and residents. Pollution of the environment (air, soil, subsoil, water) in the unfortunate case of an accident, would affect not only the area itself, since radioactivity travels by affecting large geographic areas, it said.

Humanity has witnessed Japan’s tragedy, which is still suffering from the consequences of the terrible earthquake that took place in Fukushima on Friday, 11 March 2011, the tsunami it caused and the resulting havoc, it was also noted.

Akkuyu is a highly seismic area and radiation from the normal operation of the plant as well as any serious leak because of an accident, will gradually destroy the quality of life of nearby living beings, including humans, the statement said. The eastern Mediterranean basin is a huge and interconnected ecosystem. In the instance of a radiation leak, this will harm hundreds of kilometres around the nuclear plants.

The Chernobyl accident, which occurred 32 years ago today, is still creating problems to people and the environment all around the Black Sea basin, it added.

Nuclear waste by itself is an environmental disaster that will last for centuries and no one can claim that there is a safe way for its disposal, since the danger of a leak is always there. The cost of the disposal of nuclear waste is very high and this negates the theory that nuclear power is a cheap source of energy. It also asked if there is anybody that wishes to keep nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years buried on their land.

Our vision for good quality of life and environmental protection is incompatible with the existence and use of nuclear energy, the statement said, urging demonstrators to raise our voices for the future of our children.

?he power plant is only 90 kilometres off the northern coast of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Source: Cyprus News Agency