Turkey, Japan to sign nuclear deal

Turkey, Japan to sign nuclear deal

Turkey, Japan to sign nuclear deal

As Turkey has choosen Japanese-French consortium to built its second nuclear plant, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are expected to sign a deal tomorrow during Abe’s Turkey visit. REUTERS photo

A Japanese-French alliance led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and French firm Areva will build Turkey’s second nuclear power plant, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told Japan’s daily Nikkei.

The deal is expected to be signed tomorrow by Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who will be visiting Ankara, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told reporters.

“We are at the intergovernmental signature stage for the agreement on the nuclear plant to be built in Sinop with our Japan,” Prime Minister Erdoğan told Nikkei on April 30, according to semiofficial reports from Anatolia news agency.

“Japan has rich experience and know-how against earthquakes. Japan is also sensitive to the environment. French Areva has high technology,” he said.

The alliance will build the nuclear plant expected to cost an estimated $22 billion in the Black Sea province of Sinop and the prime minister has said the works to choose an area has been kicked off. Giving further details about the structure of the investment he said: “I believe we should limit the project timing to a maximum of seven years from the planning to the completion of the construction. We plan to get a minimum 15 percent of our power generation from nuclear energy by 2030.”

Energy Minister Yıldız also said that the Turkish public sector would also have a share in the plant but did not elaborate, speaking after a meeting with Nigerien State, Mines and Industry Minister Hamidou Tchian.

End of heated contest

The Japanese-French partnership beat out its last remaining rival, from China, after South Korean and Canadian competitors had dropped out of the race earlier.

Officials have long been hinting that the Japanese-French bid had an advantage over the Chinese bid. “The Japanese bid has the advantage, but there is still one or two issues that we need to work on together,” Energy Ministry sources told the Hürriyet Daily News on April 29. “We believe that we will find a common way when Shinzo Abe comes to Turkey [on May 3].”

The forerunning bid brings together Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Itochu with France’s GDF Suez to build the plant, which is planned to have a capacity of around 4,500-5,000 megawatts (MW). Four pressurized water nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of about 4.5 gigawatts are planned to be constructed. The Japanese-Franco consortium had proposed installing Areva’s Atmea reactors. These are 1,100 Mwe-capacity Atmea1, Generation III and pressurized water reactors (PWR) developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva in their Atmea joint venture.

The construction of the plant in Sinop is to start in 2017. Turkey aims to have three nuclear plants operational by 2023 and to get a minimum 15 percent of its power generation from nuclear energy by 2030. In 2010, the Russian state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, was selected to build and operate four AES-2006 VVER reactors in the southern town of Akkuyu, which will power Turkey’s first nuclear plant.