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Two countries expected to begin feasibility study for $30bn project Russian state nuclear corportion Rosatom is building Turkey’s first nuclear station at Akkuyu. Courtesy Rosatom. South Korea’s state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) said on Tuesday (1 February) it had submitted a preliminary proposal to Turkey to take part in a project worth about $30bn (€27bn) to build four nuclear power plants in the European country.

Kepco chief executive officer Cheong Seung-il met Turkey's energy minister, Fatih Donmez, on Monday and presented the proposal regarding the construction of four nuclear plants at a possible in the northern part of the country, according to the company.

“The main contents of the proposal include the introduction of Kepco and Korea's excellent nuclear power plant construction capabilities, the business structure of the Turkey nuclear power plant, the construction period, and localisation,” Kepco said in a statement.

Press reports in December 2022 said Kepco was in discussions with the Turkish government to develop the four nuclear power plants.

A spokesperson at Kepco, the largest electric utility in South Korea and parent company of nuclear operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, said the two countries were expected to begin a feasibility study this year, after which they could sign an agreement to build the four reactors.

The plants will use South Korea’s APR1400 technology, the same reactor type that is being used for four units at the Barakah nuclear power station in the United Arab Emirates.

Turkey initially approached Japan to build the reactors in 2013, but an agreement fell apart due to differing views on pricing, the Korea Joong Ang Daily reported. Japan-based Mitsubishi was to have developed the project at Sinop on the Black Sea coast in northern Turkey.

Tougher safety measures that came into force following the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011 more than doubled the estimated cost of the project to $46bn.

However, the International Energy Agency said in 2020 the Turkish government was in talks with other partners to develop the project.

Russia Also In Running For New Reactors

Press reports did not say if Kepco’s discussions with Turkey were related to the Sinop site and the exact status of the Sinop project remains unclear.

In October reports claimed Turkey had asked Russia to build its second commercial nuclear power station at Sinop.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is already building Turkey’s first commercial nuclear station at Akkuyu under a contract signed in 2010.

Akkuyu will have four Generation III+ VVER-1200 units, with the first expected to come online in 2023 and a further unit starting every year afterwards. The total estimated cost of the project stands at $20bn.

Turkish officials have said Ankara is also negotiating with China to build four large-scale nuclear reactors at Igneada in the Thrace region of northwestern Turkey, close to the border with Bulgaria.

South Korea would offer the same APR1400 technology used for four units at the Barakah nuclear power station in the United Arab Emirates.

Date: Friday, 03 February 2023
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