Japan not optimistic on bid for second nuclear plant

Japan not optimistic on bid for second nuclear plant

TOKYO - Hürriyet Daily News
Japanese officials are not optimistic about the country’s chances of winning a bid to construct Turkey’s second planned nuclear power plant, but noted that Dec. 16 general polls would help clarify the post-election administration’s stance on nuclear exports.

People think that an insistence on building nuclear plants in other countries while striving to end domestic nuclear power by 2030 is inconsistent, an assistant secretary-general at the Foreign Ministry, Taisuske Miabe, told the Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 13 during a meeting in Tokyo with journalists. “The new government will decide [on the issue].”

Hitachi and Toshiba are the two companies actively searching for foreign nuclear deals, he said.

The country has not won any nuclear bids since the Fukushima disaster on May 11, 2011, but Japanese firms have signed cooperation deals with Vietnam and Jordan, new seekers of nuclear energy, although the deals have not yet been finalized. Nuclear cooperation talks are also continuing with Russia, but the discussions do not involve the export of technology, Miabe said.

Canada, China, Japan and South Korea are bidding to construct the Turkish plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said last month that the Chinese offer, which did not include any demand for Turkish government guarantees and promised its own financing, was the frontrunner. Turkey is expected to announce a winner before the end of the year. Russia’s Rosatom is already building the country’s maiden nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin, although the company has said it is interested in subsequent Turkish nuclear projects. The government is aiming to build at least three nuclear plants before 2023, the centenary of the Turkish Republic.