ANKARA - Reuters
Turkey’s first nuclear power plant may be delayed by a year, due to some problems in environmental approval
Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is likely to be delayed by at least a year, a source close to the plans said yesterday, as bureaucratic hurdles hamper the $20 billion project.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has been an advocate of the country’s ambitious nuclear program, meant to help reduce its dependence on costly hydrocarbon imports by providing 10 percent of its electricity needs by 2023.
But its first planned 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant, being built by Russia’s Rosatom, is already falling behind schedule, with the first reactor unlikely to be operational by 2019 as planned.
“Production in 2019 is not possible. 2020 is more likely,” one source close to the project told, noting that a nuclear reactor on this scale would need a test period of at least six to 12 months before it could be fully operational.
An environmental report by Rosatom, which requires approval by Turkish authorities, had to be resubmitted to the Environment Ministry in September, months behind the planned schedule.
Without approval, Atomstroyexport, the main contractor chosen by Rosatom to build the reactors, cannot launch tenders for an estimated $7.5-8.0 billion worth of subcontracts.
A tender by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) for a firm to review and assess Rosatom’s reactor plans to ensure the design meets safety standards has been canceled several times after bidders failed to meet the pre-qualification criteria.