Building of Turkey's first nuke plant faces delay risk

Building of Turkey's first nuke plant faces delay risk

Erdinç Çelikkan Hürriyet/ ANKARA
Building of Turkeys first nuke plant faces delay risk

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which will have total installed power of 4,800 mW, will be built by the Russian Rosatom, in the Akkuyu district of Mersin.DHA photo

The construction of Turkey’s first nuclear plant seems likely to be delayed as the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry rejected the Environmental Impact Analysis Report for the Akkuyu plant, citing deficiencies in form and content.

The Russian state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, was selected in 2010 to build and operate the Akkuyu nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin, an investment worth around $20 billion. The plant will be made with four reactors and will have a total installed power of 4,800 megawatts (mW).

The undertaking company, Akkuyu NGS, submitted the report for the nuclear plant in Akkuyu to the Turkish Environment Ministry on July 9 to be assessed.

The environmental impact report is one of the most critical steps to begin the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear plant. The report consisted of 3,000 pages and 12 sections, and included the results of scientific observations and detailed research regarding the every aspect of the planned power plant.

Gap in form, content

However, the ministry did not approve the report in a six-day period, without sending it to the inspection commission. The report was sent back to Akkuyu NGS July 15 by the ministry, which said the report had deficiencies in form and content and should be developed in all aspects.

As the construction of the nuclear power plant in Akkuyu may not be started without the environmental impact report, the process will last longer than the company’s schedule, which had planned to begin operations in Mersin-Akkuyu by 2019, officials said. Akkuyu NGS will examine its report and submit a new report to the ministry. Once the ministry approves the report, the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant will begin.

Turkey’s second nuclear plant will be built by a Japanese-French alliance led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and French firm Areva with a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts in the Black Sea province of Sinop. Turkey and Japan signed a $22 billion deal on Turkey’s second nuclear plant project May 3. The first unit of the nuclear plant is set to be active by 2023, while the last unit will come online by 2028.

Turkey plans to cut $7.2 billion from its annual natural gas bill after the planned nuclear plants are online in the next decade, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in May. Turkey’s nuclear power strategy constitutes one of the bases of its long-term strategy to decrease its energy dependence.