ATHENS, March 18 (AFP) Mar 18, 2011
Plans by quake-prone Turkey to build nuclear plants "make no sense" after the disaster that befell Japan, the president of similarly seismic-sensitive Greece said on Friday.
"At a time when we have a disaster in Japan that has shaken us all, Turkey's desire to build a nuclear reactor on a seismogenous area makes no sense," President Carolos Papoulias said while visiting Tanagra airbase near Athens.
Papoulias said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should "think about this several times" and the European Union ought to intervene "so that we do not have a disaster in our front yard".
Ankara this week said the nuclear crisis that followed Japan's earthquake calamity should not lead Turkey to abandon its nuclear plans.
"It would be a mistake for Turkey to suddenly say it renounces nuclear energy," Papoulias' counterpart Abdullah Gul said.
The Turkish government plans to build three nuclear power plants within five years.
It reached an agreement with Russia in May 2010 to build Turkey's first nuclear plant in Akkuyu in Mersin province in the south, angering environmentalists who warn of seismic hazards in the region.
"There is no investment without risk. Or you should not use a gas cylinder in your home, either," Erdogan said before flying to Moscow on Wednesday.
"Earthquakes are possible everywhere and our country is on seismically dangerous territory. But we understand the ways to secure the objects that we are building," he added.
The planned reactor lies across from the popular Greek tourist island of Rhodes, Papoulias noted on Friday.
Shared grief over earthquakes has brought estranged neighbours Greece and Turkey closer in the last decade.
In 1999, two powerful quakes in the heavily populated, industrialised northwest of Turkey that measured 7.4 and 7.2 respectively claimed about 20,000 lives, while a 5.9-Richter earthquake northwest of Athens killed 143 people.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.