Hello, my name is Josh (or as I said to my new colleagues here in the Greenpeace NZ office - Josselin for the more reckless). Indeed, I am French.

Given that Greenpeace was moving to a new office, my first week here has been intense. I'm very pleased with being part of this great team, so merrily engaged in fighting ecological recklessness!

As part of my studies in Political Sciences and History, I'm doing an internship in Greenpeace NZ. Not only is it everyone's duty to work in the cause of ecology, human rights and (sometimes) civil disobedience, but as a Frenchman, I'm carrying the heavy burden of past governmental blunders on my shoulders … I feel very concerned about the nuclear issue. France owns and runs about 60 nuclear reactors out of 415 worldwide. 80% of electricity supplied in France comes from nuclear plants and the " Omnipresident " Sarkozy promotes nuclear plants all over the world. Most of the French nuclear plants are getting old and becoming more and more dangerous. Furthermore, Sarkozy announced last month that a second EPR plant would be built next year in France. What a blessing it is for the people here to live without the evil of nuclear power...

This morning, as I was reading the news, I've hit on a story about the nuclear industry in Turkey that offers some hope.

Indeed, Yesterday, two days after the arrest of 37 activists from Greenpeace and Global Action Group protesting against nuclear energy in Turkey, the nuclear industry suffered a setback. Its efforts to build the country's first nuclear power plant, received just one bid in the tender process. From the 13 companies which received specifications originally, six envelopes finally arrived on the governmental desk, with only one positive answer, from a Russian company. Legally, the process is frozen. Turkish rules saying that without competition for the bid, the government is unable to move ahead. It's a great victory for Greenpeace and the anti-nuclear movement - and I would say for Turkey!

The plant was to generate about 4000 megawatts of electricity costing as much as $8 billion. By acquiring nuclear energy, Turkey hopes to make itself independent of its main energy suppliers, Russia and Iran. First, is it relevant to talk about independence, with nuclear power...? You have to trust the reliability of the whole system... in a region known for its high probability of telluric and seismic incidents, and lacking of skilled staff. Such discussions about nuclear power could seem unwise, even irrational. However, the fact is that Turkey has long tried to equip itself with nuclear energy...

The nuclear aspirations of Turkey appeared in 1956, with the creation of a General Secretariat for Atomic Energy, replaced in 1982 by the TAEK (Turkish Institute for Atomic Energy). Studies to develop nuclear power in Turkey started in 1967. Two years later, Turkey was signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Political turbulences and pressure form environmental organizations have always prevented the former "Sublime Porte" from acquiring the most dangerous alternative to fossil energy, in 1977, 1983 and 2000.

In November 2007, however, the Energy Minister of Turkey announced an invitation to tender, in order to select a supplier for its first nuclear energy plant. The deadline was yesterday. The government received six envelopes from the companies finally interested in the project, but only a Russian company, Atomstroyexport, gave a positive answer. Indeed, nuclear energy is not only extremely dangerous and dirty, it is also an economic disaster. Because of increasing costs and construction time, companies just don't want to invest. Fortunately, the projects are too risky financially.

If it's not the first time that a nuclear program has been aborted in the Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It could, and should be the last. Such a decision shouldn't be caused by financial reasons. After the recent radiation leaks in Spain and incidents at plants in France, Sweden and Japan, will governments just realize how close we are to another Chernobyl (without making a stupid link with the fact that the positive answer came from a Russian company...)? Since the beginning of the year, France gave a perfect example of how dangerous nuclear energy can be. People reacted strongly. That's why the Turkish people and the international anti-nuclear community have to keep fighting.

According to many Turkish environmentalists, country's nuclear plans are actually highly risky. The 1999 earthquake, in particular, revealed just how poorly prepared Istanbul is for natural disasters. Kamer Gülbeyaz, a well-known environmentalist from Mersin, a Turkish coastal town, has often warned the government about the seismic instability of the region of Akkuyu, in the far south of Turkey. But environmental concerns are not even an issue, nowadays, for the government. Challenges such as the rising price of energy, the "threatening neighbor" (Iran), and the will to part with its energy dependency to Russia led the government to ignore the concerns of popular movements, using police force if necessary.

The renunciation of the project is a great victory for the Greenpeace activists involved in the actions against nuclear power that took place two days ago. Activists unfurled a banner demanding a "STOP" to nuclear energy and laid themselves on the line with a "die in" on the street in front of the ministry. The protest ended when the 37 activists were arrested, but they were later released without charge. Of course? Yet, it would have been legitimate to worry about them...

It's everyone's duty to fight against the revival of the nuclear issue in Turkey, and its survival elsewhere. Some nuclear groups have made mentions of their interest, if the deadline was postponed…

The actuality of the War Crimes caused by the Turkish army during the Armenian genocide is debated in Turkey nowadays. Another crime, much more serious, could be at stake in the forthcoming years. The Crime against Humanity, caused by the unconsciousness of a dozen political leaders.

The time has come for a revolution, but this time, not a political one.

- Josh