Minister: Turkey ‘courageous’ enough to have nuclear plant
CİHAN PhotoTurkey is not less courageous than other countries which have nuclear power plants, the country’s energy minister has said, as concerns lingered over the safety of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which is being constructed in the southern province of Mersin.
“We are not less courageous than an American or than Germany, Japan and France either. Why would we be scared?” Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said to reporters late on April 23, when asked about concerns over the safety of the plant.
“As the world has 442 nuclear power plants… While they construct their nuclear power plant 90 kilometers away from Paris, and 70 kilometers away from Madrid, their tourists are not scared. Why are our tourists scared? Why don’t they have such concerns?” Yıldız said.
In mid-April, Turkey began the construction of its first nuclear power plant in the Akkuyu district of Mersin, with dozens of environmental protesters converging on the iron doors of the site.
Russia’s Rosatom will build and operate the Akkuyu plant, which will have a life-span of 60 years, at a cost of around $22 billion.
Turkey’s Cengiz Holding, one of the partners of the consortium that will build Istanbul’s massive third airport, had won the tender to build the marine hydro-technic structure for the Akkuyu plant.
With energy import costs at about $50 billion annually and demand forecast as the fastest growing in Europe, Ankara wants at least 5 percent of its electricity generation to come from nuclear energy in under a decade, cutting dependency on natural gas largely bought from Russia.