Turkey has recently announced its ongoing international efforts to close down the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant in Armenia. This decision is primarily driven by the plant’s operational lifespan coming to an end and the associated security risks it poses. Concerns have been raised by citizens in the city of Iğdır, located approximately 16 kilometers from the plant, prompting the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) Petitions Committee to respond to these petitions.
In its response, the committee informed citizens that a radiation emergency plan has been developed in Iğdır to mitigate potential risks. Turkey has also been actively urging the international community to take action in shutting down the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. The committee based its response on information provided by relevant ministries, institutions, and organizations involved in this matter.
Furthermore, the response highlighted that informational campaigns have been conducted in the border villages of Iğdır to raise awareness among local residents. Additionally, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, iodine tablets have been procured and distributed as a precautionary measure. Moreover, exercises simulating a radiation emergency scenario have been conducted in the city to enhance preparedness at the local level.
In parallel, it is worth noting that despite expert warnings, the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NGS) in Gülnar, Mersin, is still underway. This $20 billion project consists of four power units, each equipped with Russian-designed VVER-1200 reactors. Construction is progressing simultaneously, with significant milestones reached, such as the completion of welding processes for the first power unit’s reactor cooling pipeline and the official granting of status to the plant on April 27, 2023, marked by the arrival of the “first fuel rod.”
These developments underscore Turkey’s commitment to addressing nuclear safety concerns, both domestically and in the broader region. It demonstrates the country’s proactive approach to safeguarding the well-being of its citizens and working towards a secure and sustainable future.