Gaziemir Lead Factory and nuclear storage, Turkey

The abandoned industrial site in Gaziemir, Izmir poses a radioactive threat to the environment. Scientists and activists warn about the danger, after the Housing Development Administration announced mass housing project on the site


Description

The lead factory in Gaziemir district in the town of Izmir, has been manufacturing lead bars for 70 years ever since its establishment in 1940. The industrial input was old lead accumulators and lead scrap. When the factory was relocated to a new operation field, the old industrial area in Gaziemir and the nearby warehouse remained vacant.

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Basic Data
NameGaziemir Lead Factory and nuclear storage, Turkey
CountryTurkey
ProvinceGaziemir
SiteIzmir
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Nuclear waste storage
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific CommoditiesEuropuim 152
Industrial waste
Lead
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsTurkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) detected nuclear waste buried beneath the Gaziemir lead factory's waste storage site. After conducting research on the material, TAEK identified a nuclear particle, ‘Europium 152’ that is illegal to import or use in Turkey.
Project Area (in hectares)7
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population129,691
Start Date01/01/1940
Company Names or State EnterprisesAslan Avcı Kurşun Sanayi
Relevant government actorsThe Gaziemir Municipality

The Housing Development Administration (TOKİ)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEGEÇEP (Ege Çevre ve Kültür Platformu – Aegean Environment and Culture Platform - http://www.egecep.org.tr/)

Yeşiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi (Greens and Left Future Party)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Genetic contamination, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesThe area should be quarantined.

The waste matter should be removed from the area in an approprate way.

An investigation should be started, which should analyze both the health impact of the nuclear matter on the surrounding area as well as the way how Europium 152 entered the country.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The conflict is a major failure in terms of environmental justice. The case still remaining shady, authorities neither managed to hold anyone responsible nor cleaned up nuclear waste. On top of that, the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) declared interest in buying the area and starting a public housing project without any intention of nuclear cleanup.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Turkish Panel Code: Storage or delivery of hazardous substances without permission

ARTICLE 174- (1) Any person or legal entity who engages in production, export and import of nuclear, radioactive, chemical, biological substances which may have explosive, burning, abrasive, harming, toxic and life-threatening affect without permission of the competent authorities, or transports the same from one place to another within the country, or a person who purchases, stores, sells or processes such substances, is punished with imprisonment from three years to eight years, and is also imposed punitive fine up to five thousand days. The person who exports the material or equipment required in production, processing or use of these substances is also subject to same punishment.

(2) In case of commission of these offenses within the frame of activities of an organized criminal group, the punishment is imposed by half.

(3) Any person who purchases, delivers or stores inconsiderable quantity of explosives of that sort is punished with imprisonment up to one year according purpose of utilization.

Turkish Panel Code: Misconduct in office

ARTICLE 257-(1) Excluding the acts defined as offense in the law, any public officer who causes suffering of people or injury by acting contrary to the requirements of his office, or secures unjust benefit to third parties, is punished with imprisonment from one year to three years.

(2) Excluding the acts defined as offense in the law, any public officer who causes suffering of people or public injury, or secures unjust benefit for others by showing negligence or delay in performance of his duties, is punished with imprisonment from six months to two years.

(3) Any public officer who secures benefit for himself or others in order to fulfill his obligations or for similar other reason, is punished with imprisonment according to provisions of the first subsection if such act does not constitute the offense of malversation.

Turkish Panel Code: Intentional pollution of environment

ARTICLE 181-(1) Any person who intentionally drains refuses or wastes to the ground, water or air contrary to the technical procedure defined in the relevant laws and in such a way to cause environmental pollution, is punished with imprisonment from six months to two years.

(2) Any person who engages in transfer of refuses or wastes into the country without permission is punished with imprisonment from one year to three years.

(3) The punishment to be imposed according to the above subsections is doubled if the wastes or refuses are observed to have remaining affect in the ground, water or atmosphere.

(5)In case of commission of offenses defined in first and second subsections by processing of refuses or wastes in such a way to result with incurable disease both in human and animals, or deterioration of fertility and change natural characteristics of animals and plants; the offenders are punished with imprisonment not less than five years and also imposed punitive fine up to thousand days.

Pollution of environment by negligence

ARTICLE 182- (1) Any person who drains refuses or wastes to the ground, water or atmosphere by negligence in such a way to cause environmental pollution, is imposed punitive fine. Where the refuses or wastes are observed to have remaining affect in the ground, water or atmosphere, punishment of imprisonment is imposed from two months to one year.

(2) Any person who involves in draining of refuses or wastes to the ground , water or atmosphere by negligence in such a way to cause incurable disease both in human and animals, deterioration of fertility and change of natural characteristics of animals and plants, is punished with imprisonment from one year to five years.

References

Authorities take no action on İzmir nuclear waste site
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Turkey’s nuclear obsession is dangerous and entirely misplaced
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Turkey's first radioactive waste storage (Tr)
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Contaminated area in Izmir continues posioning the Gulf of Izmir (Tr)
[click to view]

Updates from Gaziemir (Tr)
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Radioactive threat in Izmir (Tr)
[click to view]

Other Documents

Search for radioactive material
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Meta Information
ContributorBurag Gurden, European Environmental Bureau, [email protected]
Last update14/07/2017
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