IAEA’s report on Turkey’s first nuclear plant no secret, minister says
DHA PhotoTurkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has ruled out a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was made public by daily Hürriyet May 31, was a “secret” document, saying the study on Turkey’s first yet-to-be-built nuclear power plant was undated.
“The state does not share all documents with the newspapers or television [stations] and not all unshared documents are secret,” Yıldız said, while responding to journalists in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on June 1.
“If it was a secret, how did it end up in your newspaper, on your headline?” he asked.
The November 2013 document, seen by Hürriyet, cited 24 items of advice by the IAEA in its November 2013 report.
Turkey has not fulfilled many of the recommendations in the study on its bid to acquire nuclear energy, Hürriyet said, also quoting Necati Yamaç, the undersecretary of the ministry, who said in an emailed response that the report was undated.
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, 2014, 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.
“An operation of perception” is planned against the government ahead of the general elections on June 7, the minister said.
“This is a part of it,” he said.
The report was planned in accordance with the government’s own demand form the IAEA and some advice in the report lagged behind because of the poor performance of the opposition parties in parliament for the past three of four months, Yıldız said.
Some of the advice in the report included turning the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) into an independent body. While TAEK was actually autonomous, the ministry has prepared a draft code for the authority to become independent from the ministry, Yıldız said.
Contradicting Hürriyet’s story, it was announced future nuclear waste would be transported to Russia, he said.
“The government of Turkey should develop a long-term plan for activities and facilities needed for radioactive waste management,” the report said.
Turkey is bidding to build another nuclear plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHE) and Itochu Corporation, with France’s GDF Suez, will build the 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant at an estimated cost of $22 billion. The plant will be operative with ATMEA1 reactors developed by MHE and the French company Areva, according to an agreement approved by parliament on April 1.
Yıldız said June 1 that Turkey will spend $44 billion on eight reactors.