Turkey ‘to speed up’ nuclear plant plans

Turkey ‘to speed up’ nuclear plant plans

MOSCOW - Anadolu Agency
Turkey ‘to speed up’ nuclear plant plans

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız (C) speaks to reporters in Moscow. AA photo

The process to begin the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant has accelerated, said Taner Yıldız, the Turkish energy minister.

Turkey has entered a new era that will clear the way for nuclear power plant construction, he added.
“Our target is to speed up the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,” Yıldız said, after meeting in Moscow with the head of Russian nuclear company Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko.

Rosatom is set to build Turkey’s first nuclear plant project in Akkuyu but is awaiting an environmental assessment report before beginning construction.

“We are trying to establish a framework to implement construction license applications, land data endowments, as well as the environment assessment report and port construction. We held meetings to speed up the process,” Yıldız said.

The four-reactor plant will be located in Mersin province, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Construction of the reactor units will begin in 2016, and the plant is set to become operational by 2020.

Yıldız said Turkey and Russia might hold a more comprehensive and high-level meeting in November.

Turkey is attempting to diversify its energy sources with nuclear power as it relies heavily on foreign resources, a huge burden on the current budget deficit. The imports of natural gas and oil, which make up almost half of Turkey’s electricity production, cost up to $60 billion a year.