Turkish PM unveils ‘ambitious’ nuke plans

Turkish PM unveils ‘ambitious’ nuke plans

Turkish PM unveils ‘ambitious’ nuke plans

Turkey focuses on low-cost energy resources, says Turkish PM Erdoğan. AA photo

Turkey is determined to provide some 10 percent of its electricity needs from nuclear facilities as of 2030, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in South Korea’s Seoul yesterday.

“Making use of safe, low-cost and environmentally-friendly energy resources is the focus of our development strategies,” Erdoğan said, addressing the general assembly attended by world leaders.
“Turkey has launched its ambitious nuclear program. It will implement this program resolutely to meet the country’s energy needs sustainably,” he said, adding that the program would be based on the principles of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attaining high safety and security standards.

“What happened in Fukushima, adding to the Chernobyl and Three Miles Island accidents, has once again reminded us the crucial importance of nuclear security and the tests that nuclear energy is facing.”

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, who joined Erdoğan during his visit, told journalists yesterday that Turkish and South Korean officials had not reached an agreement on the construction of a second nuclear plant in Turkey.

After a meeting with South Korean Information Technologies Minister Hong Suk-Woo, Yıldız said South Korea had expressed an interest in constructing a 5,000-6,000 megawatt nuclear as well as coal power plant in Turkey, and that talks were continuing, according to Reuters.

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant will be built by the Russians in Akkuyu near the southern port city of Mersin. The second nuclear plant, slated for the Sinop region on Turkey’s Black Sea coast, is still up for grabs. Turkey is currently still negotiating with Japanese firms for the Sinop plant, according to Yıldız, but the Japanese company TEPCO withdrew its bid on Aug. 4 2011.

“Just like with natural gas we want diversity. In addition to Japan and Russia, we are negotiating with South Korea and China,” Yıldız told reporters. He had previously told Reuters that the Chinese were also interested in building a nuclear power plant in Turkey.

Yıldız met with executives from SK, KOSEB and HACO, the leading nuclear energy companies in South Korea, Anatolia news agency reported.

Turkey is set to hold a second round of talks with South Korean authorities during the Energy Leaders Summit in Istanbul next month, a large event expected to be participated in by around 70 countries.