IAEA 'secret' report reveals Turkey's nuclear duties
Tolga Tanış - WASHINGTON
File photoTurkey has not fulfilled many of the recommendations in a study by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its bid to acquire nuclear energy, according to a document seen by Hürriyet.
Earlier last month, the Turkish Energy Ministry refused a local court’s request to see the IAEA report, which was handed to Turkish officials on Feb. 20 last year but not made public until now, on the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project, which will be developed by Russia in the country’s southern province of Mersin, citing state secret security as the reason.
The IAEA had prepared the mission report about the Akkuyu project, dubbed the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), upon the government’s request and delivered it to Undersecretary of the Energy Ministry Metin Kilci and Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) head Zafer Alper on Feb. 20, 2014, by hand.
The INIR became a subject of the court when a total of 86 legal and natural entities, filed a suit for a stay of execution of a court’s positive ruling on the Environment Impact Assessment report (ÇED) regarding the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project, dated Dec. 1, 2014.
Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said last month that the report was outdated after daily Hürriyet published a story on its being classified as secret.
However, the 98-page report shows that little of the advice was heeded.
A leading absence is the definition “of a national policy for all kinds of radioactive waste and to identify the responsibilities of a national waste management organization.”
“The government of Turkey should develop a long-term plan for activities and facilities needed for radioactive waste management,” the report said.
One of the key items in the report is clarifying the roles of TAEK as an independent regulator, which was not realized despite the Nuclear Security Convention, which is signed by Turkey.
No steps were taken on the realization of demands by TAEK as well.
TAEK is still inspecting the placement of the plant.
“Turkey should ensure that the comprehensive nuclear energy law is promulgated as soon as possible and adequately addresses a number of important issues including the need to establish a regulatory body without promotional responsibilities and independent from entities having responsibilities or interests that could unduly influence its decision making; define the functions of the regulatory body and the responsibilities of authorized persons; and cover nuclear safety, security and safeguards,” the study said.
“Turkey should promulgate the last on civil liability for nuclear damage,” it added.
A lack of such steps makes the state solely responsible in the event of any accident.
Informing the public about the project was declared another failure.
No timely response to Hürriyet’s questions on the report were made by the Environment Ministry and Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş., the Russian developer Rosatom’s arm founded for the Turkey plant, which said it had translated the report into Russian five days ago.
Alper said the responsibility to respond was held by the Energy Ministry, while Necati Yamaç, the undersecretary of the ministry, repeated in its response that the report was undated.
“The study is to reflect the nuclear infrastructure in our country as of November 2013,” he said in an emailed response.
Here are the 24 recommendations in the report:
1) The government of Turkey should clarify the roles and responsibilities for nuclear policy development between Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) / Nuclear Energy Project Implementation Department (NEPID) and Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK).
2) The government of Turkey should finalize the draft national policy and strategy, as it can serve for a road map for the further development of the national nuclear program. It should define the guiding principles and clarify roles and responsibilities and will cover among other topics, spent fuel and waste and decommissioning.
3) The Akkuyu Project Company (APC) should finalize its organizational structure for fulfilling its operator responsibilities, during siting, construction and operation taking into accounts an operator’s prime responsibility for safety, its interest in making use of the expertise in Rosenergoatom, and the Turkish regulatory framework and international standards. Whilst this recommendation is formulated in the context of the Akkuyu project, subsequent nuclear power plant (NPP) projects should also take into account the need to be clear on the operator’s responsibilities and organizational structure.
4) APC should ensure that it has the capability to review and take responsibility for licensing documentation and to manage the resolution of issues arising from the regulatory review.
5) APC should complete its plans to strengthen the operating function, taking account of the need to prepare for and carry out commissioning activities. In addition, TAEK, following consultation with APC, should define the main principles and requirements for the Akkuyu NPP operating organization, in particular relating to outsourcing of operation activities to other entities and licensing of specific staff.
6) The government of Turkey should complete the development of regulations to clarify the scope of and management arrangements for the National Radioactive Waste and Decommissioning Accounts.
7) Turkey should ensure that the comprehensive nuclear energy law is promulgated as soon as possible and adequately addresses a number of important issues including the need to:
•Establish a regulatory body without promotional responsibilities and independent from entities having responsibilities or interests that could unduly influence its decision making;
•Define the functions of the regulatory body and the responsibilities of authorized persons; and
•Cover nuclear safety, security and safeguards.
8) Turkey should promulgate the last on civil liability for nuclear damage.
9) The government of Turkey should ensure the independence of the regulatory functions including during the licensing process.
10) TAEK should complete the regulations necessary for a nuclear power program.
11) NEPID should complete a National Human Resource Development Plan to define required activities and roles and responsibilities.
12) The APC should ensure adequate planning for recruitment and training, independent of the final decision on regulatory requirements for the operating organization.
13) TAEK should accelerate their activities regarding recruitment of staff and contracting technical support organization (TSO) support for the licensing and inspection of Akkuyu NPP construction. In addition TAEK should develop more job specific training plans for its new staff based on the Systematic Approach to Training.
14) The government of Turkey should define a national strategy for stakeholder involvement and informing the public, with a clear definition of roles and responsibilities.
15) The government of Turkey should ensure that public entities assigned promotional or regulatory functions are adequately resourced (in terms of financial and expertise) for implementation of their respective communication activities.
16) The APC should complete the site parameters report based on the implemented site characterization investigations and submit for review and approval by TAEK.
17) Ministry and Environment and Urban Planning (MoEU), as the government coordinating body, and the APC should complete the necessary activities to close out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process in a timely manner.
18) The MoEU should define a standardized format of the EIA report for nuclear facilities.
19) The government of Turkey should clearly define the role and responsibilities of MoEU for the NPP projects and the interface with TAEK.
20) NEPID should complete the work to define a national policy and strategy for the front and back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including clarification of the long-term technical responsibility for the management and disposal of spent fuel or high-level waste.
21) NEPID should complete the work to define a national policy for all kinds of radioactive waste and to identify the responsibilities of a national waste management organization.
22) The government of Turkey should develop a long-term plan for activities and facilities needed for radioactive waste management.
23) The activities to come to an agreement between NEPID and APC on the scope and level of involvement of local industry participation should be intensified.
24) The government of Turkey should enable public organizations to procure goods and services in a timely manner, recognizing that nuclear power programs require contracting in an international market and sometimes from sole source suppliers.