Cyprus activists protest Turkey’s planned nuclear plant

Cyprus activists protest Turkey’s planned nuclear plant

Greek and Turkish Cypriot activists on Wednesday formed a human chain across Cyprus's ethnic divide to protest Turkey's planned nuclear power station, which they say poses real dangers to the nearby east Mediterranean island.

On the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, about 100 activists linked arms across the 70-meter UN-controlled buffer zone between the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north and the internationally recognized south in the medieval heart of the capital, Nicosia.

Turkey plans to build the Russian-made plant in Akkuyu, 56 miles (90 kilometers) from Cyprus's northern shoreline. Activists say the area straddles an active seismic zone.

Turkish Cypriot activist Murat Kanatli said there are serious concerns about where and how the plant's radioactive waste material will be disposed of.

He said a study has shown that the plant's operation could increase nearby sea temperatures to a level that could be harmful to marine life.

Kanatli said Turkey current political turbulence and the specter the plant becoming a target for attacks adds to those concerns.

"This is as much a problem for Cyprus as well," Kanatli told AP. "It's impossible to have full safety."

He added that there is no official word on what will happen to the plant once it's decommissioned after its estimated 50- to 60-year lifespan. [AP]


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