April 11, 2011 – We demand a Nuclear Free Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East

We demand a Nuclear Free Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East!

Monday, April 11, 2011
Cyprus, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, Amman

One month after the recent nuclear disaster at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power station, Friends of the Earth Cyprus and EcoPeace Middle East are demanding a Nuclear Free Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Friends of the Earth Cyprus and EcoPeace Middle East are strongly opposing to nuclear energy because it is dirty, inhuman, dangerous, antidemocratic, warlike, expensive, unjust, exhaustible, pollutant – especially if we take into consideration the full life-cycle of the nuclear chain, which is the most complex and extensive of all energy systems – and outdated. [i]

All governments across the region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East should adopt immediately the following measures:
* Closure of reactors without full pressure containment and all other with outdated designs; [ii]
* Closure of reactors that are older than 30 years and are operating beyond their scheduled lifetime; [iii]
* No life-time extensions for nuclear power plants; [iv]
* No nuclear reactors in seismically active areas; [v]
* Declaration of the whole region as a Nuclear Free Zone, through the development of a genuine and transparent process to bring about the end of the nuclear age in the wider region, introduction of phase-out laws at national levels and the cancelling of construction of planned nuclear power reactors; [vi]
* All investments in nuclear energy should be turned into investments on energy efficiency, energy conservation and peaceful renewable energy sources. [vii]

Notes for editors:
[i] For a detailed analysis of the risks posed by nuclear energy, see: Friends of the Earth Cyprus, Nuclear Energy. Available at: http://foecyprus.weebly.com/nuclear-energy.html.

[ii] For example, the nuclear power reactor at Yerevan in Armenia.

[iii] The operable nuclear power reactor at Yerevan in Armenia also falls into this category.
Any reactor older than 30 years is of higher concern than others due to the fact that steel and welding seams experience fatigue under constant neutron bombardment, especially in the reactor vessel and primary cooling circuit.

[iv] For example, the two nuclear power reactors at Kozloduy in Bulgaria.

[v] Almost all nuclear power reactors in the wider region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East are operating or are planned and proposed to be build on moderate, high or even extreme high seismically active areas: Yerevan in Armenia, Kozloduy and Belene in Bulgaria, Bushehr in Iran, Akkuyu Bay and Sinop in Turkey, Italy, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and United Arabic Emirates.
The recent earthquake and the tsunami that followed in Japan clearly demonstrate that earthquakes and other natural disasters can cause power failure at nuclear plants, as well as structural damage to nuclear reactors.

[vi] According to the most recent data of the World Nuclear Association (March 2011), there are 3 operable nuclear power reactors, 1 is under construction, 15 are envisaged already in specific plans and 27 are proposed to be built and operate until 2030 in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

[vii] Greenpeace Mediterranean and the European Energy Renewable Council (EREC), Energy [R]evolution – A Pathway to a Sustainable and Clean Energy Future for the Middle East: Executive Summary, January 2007.
EcoPeace Middle East – Solar Energy Villages for the Middle East – A Solar Bridge for Peace Building and a Light on to the Nations: Executive Summary Report.

For more information, please contact:

Klitos Papastylianou, Climate Justice and Energy Sovereignty Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Cyprus: Telephone +357 25 347042 / Fax +357 25 347043 / Email foecyprus@yahoo.com

Munqeth Mehyar in Amman, EcoPeace Middle East: Telephone +962 6 5866602-3 / Fax +962 6 5866604 / Email munqeth@ecopeaceme.org

Gidon Bromberg in Tel Aviv, EcoPeace Middle East: Telephone +972-3-5605383 / Fax +972-3-5604693 / Email gidon@ecopeaceme.org