Turkish Energy Minister says no problem with Akkuyu nuclear power project

Turkish Energy Minister says no problem with Akkuyu nuclear power project

Turkish Energy Minister says no problem with Akkuyu nuclear power project

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Turkey’s Energy Minister has refuted recent reports about uncertainties in Turkey’s planned first nuclear power plant project in the southern district of Akkuyu amid rising rows between Turkey and Russia over Syria, saying that there is no problem with the project. 

“The project has been undertaken in line with how it had been planned earlier. There is not any problem between Turkey and Russia about the project. Our ministry has been working in harmony with Akkuyu NGS, the company which was established to build the power plant by Russia’s Rosatom,” said the minister, Ali Rıza Alaboyun, in a written statement Oct. 10. 

“An intergovernmental agreement was signed between Turkey and Russia for the project in 2010 and the deal was approved by the Turkish parliament. Then the Akkuyu NGS was established to run the project and a site in Akkuyu was allocated to the company to build the power plant in 2011. The sited was declared a Special Security Zone through a cabinet decision in 2013,” said the statement. 

A positive environmental assessment report (ÇED) was issued in December 2014, after which the company presented site parameter reports for approval to the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK), it added. 

The company and Turkey’s Electricity Trading and Contracting Company (TETAŞ) agreed on basic principles for an electricity purchasing agreement, said the statement. 

“This was followed by groundbreaking of the required ports and marine structures in April 2015. A prequalification was secured from the energy watchdog [EPDK] in 2015. Work about the nuclear power plant’s construction permits are still in process,” said the statement. 

A total of 317 Turkish students have also been sent to Russia for nuclear engineering education so far. 

The Akkuyu NGS has applied to take the required construction permits to the TAEK a while ago, but granting these licenses may take 1.5-2 years, according to officials and recent reports. 

The company has continued to run its operations, like acquiring turbines. 

Akkuyu NGS General Manager Fuad Akhundov said the company has so far invested $3 billion in the project and has secured funding until 2017.

“Our production license has not been granted yet but we will continue our investments because we trust the Turkish economy,” he said at a meeting with a number of journalists weeks ago.