Bulgarian City Worried over Turkish Nuclear Plans

Diplomacy | April 12, 2011, Tuesday // 13:19|  views

The Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas is only 75 km north of Turkey's Igneada. Map by stroitelstvo.info

Dimitar Nikolov, Mayor of the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas, has met with the Turkish Consul for the city, Sibel Arkan, due to citizens' concerns over Turkey potentially building an NPP near the Bulgarian border.

Turkey plans to construct a nuclear power plant in the small Black Sea town of Igneadai, located 5 km south of the Rezovska (Rezovo) River, which marks the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Burgas, the fourth largest city in Bulgaria and an important tourist destination, is located only 75 km north of Igneada.

"The citizens of Burgas are extremely sensitive on topics related to environment and tourism and the current lack of information on Turky's nuclear plans concerns them," Dimitar Nikolov said. "There is a worldwide notion that within 100 km of a nuclear power plant, no tourism activity can be developed," he added.

The citizens of Burgas already voted against in a referendum on the potential Burghas-Alexandroupolis gas pipeline due to environmental concerns, the Mayor pointed out.

According to Consul Sibel Arkan, however, Igneada is only the project with the third highest possibility to become Turkey's third NPP and the Turkish government is yet to take a decision on its construction.

In May 2010, Turkey reached an agreement with Russia for the construction of what will become Turkey's first nuclear power plant in Mersin's Akkuyu district.

According to the agreement, Russia's state-run Atomstroyexport JSC will construct four 1000 MW reactors at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, and will have a controlling stake in the project. The project is estimated to cost about USD 25 B and was approved by Turkey's Parliament in mid-July.

Turkey's Akkuyu NPP is viewed in Bulgaria as a competitor to the potential second Bulgarian NPP at Belene on the Danube where Atomstroyexport is supposed to construct two 1000 MW reactors.

After months of talks, at the end of 2010 Japan came closer to grabbing from South Korea a deal for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkey, which should become Turkey's second, to be located in Sinop on the Black Sea.

Tekirdag in European Turkey and the capital Ankara were reported at the time to be the most likely locations for Turkey's third NPP. Reports suggest that TAEK has identified Igneada on the Black Sea, as a third nuclear power plant site, future NPP site itself being 12 km from the Bulgarian border. Turkish environmentalist groups are said to be opposed to the construction of a NPP in the Thrace region in European Turkey.

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Tags: Burgas, environmental, Belene, Nuclear Power Plant, tourism, Igneada, Black Sea, Dimitar Nikolov


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