Albanian Nuclear Power Plant Prospect Alarms Greek Public - Paper

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The prospect of a nuclear power station being built in Albania has alarmed the Greeks, who already are surrounded or expect to be surrounded by nuclear power stations in neighbouring countries.

Greek Media
Under the heading 'Albania Plans to Build a Nuclear Station', the daily To Ethnos is, after Eleutherotypia, another Greek newspaper that has in the past 10 days published various reactions to the plans to build, in Albania, a nuclear power station that is expected to solve its energy problems. It was the Athens News Agency [ANA] that announced two weeks ago that Albania intends to build a nuclear power station, citing a statement by Albanian Prime Minister Berisha to the effect that "there is an offer from a French company to build a nuclear power station in Durres." According to the Greek media, a Swedish and a US company have also made offers to this effect.

"Surrounded by these stations, Greece would be under a nuclear threat," the paper said, mentioning other current or prospective 'dangerous' points in the neighbouring countries - Turkey, Macedonia, Egypt, Bulgaria, and Romania. "Prime Minister Berisha has taken a keen interest in these offers," To Ethnos continued, "and the Albanian government has already designated the place where this station will be built - Durres, about a hundred kilometres from the Greek border as the crow flies. The justification of the Albanian government is that Albania has joined the World Nuclear Commission programme and, as a result, it must be kept informed about the building and functioning of nuclear reactors. Apart from this, Albania has long allowed the disposal of nuclear waste on its territory, thereby becoming a centre for nuclear waste disposal in the Balkans."

"True, the nuclear industry considers itself to be the solution of the problems arising from the climate change, as nuclear power stations do not work on coal, so they produce no carbon dioxide, but it fails to mention the high construction costs of these stations and their waste disposal problems," Alexandra Mesare, head of the Greenpeace organization, told the Greek media. Greek European Parliament Member Marilena Kopa also voiced his concern about the prospect of the building of a nuclear station in Albania, asking whether the EU knew about the planned construction of another nuclear reactor in a region which is already full of dangerous nuclear sources.

"Distance and climate factors play an important role in the event of a nuclear incident," said Thanasis Geranios, a teacher of nuclear physics at the Athens University. "Another nuclear station in the Balkans area would pose a threat not only to Greece, because Durres lies only 100 kilometres away, but also to the Adriatic Sea across which the nuclear waste would be shipped. The sinking of one ship would spell death to the whole of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas." To Ethnos cited Thanasis Anapolitanos, head of the Anti-Nuclear Observers of the Mediterranean, who said that a plant of this kind would be a danger to the whole region. "Nuclear power, with its unsolved security and waste disposal problems, to which the possibility of accidents should also be added, poses a real threat to life, the environment, and peace, especially in the unclear situation in which the region finds itself at the moment."

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