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Turkey is in talks with Russia, China and South Korea over its planned second and third nuclear power plants, and with the USA and United Kingdom over small modular reactors (SMRs), Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar is reported to have told a media briefing.

Akkuyu is expected to operate for 80 years (Image: Akkuyu NPP/Rosatom)

In comments reported in a variety of Turkish media outlets, Bayraktar said the country wanted to speed up efforts on the planned second nuclear power plant, in Sinop, and a third plant in the Thrace region, in the country's northwest.

According to the Daily Sabah he said that the country's energy demand was continuously growing and "our first priority is to ensure the security of supply in a sustainable manner ...  we must reduce dependency on outside sources", while also making Turkey carbon neutral by 2053.

This means "radical changes are needed in all areas", and he highlighted plans for large-scale expansion of wind and solar power in the country, as well as energy-efficiency measures.

He called the four-unit Akkuyu plant, being built by Russia's Rosatom, "the world's largest nuclear construction site", and said planning was under way for the next two proposed plants, with talks taking place with Russia, South Korea and China. Last month Reuters reported Sari Salih, the head of nuclear infrastructure at the energy ministry, as saying Turkey was in talks with Russia and South Korea over its planned second nuclear plant, with China over the third proposed plant and with the UK, USA and France over SMR technology.

Together with proposed small modular reactors, Bayraktar said: "By the 2050s, Turkey will have a nuclear-installed power of over 20,000 MW. In other words, it will be almost the size of four Akkuyus. Some of them may be large-scale power plants and others small modular reactors, which are very important for the transformation of our industry in energy."

The Akkuyu plant, in the southern Mersin province, is Turkey's first. Rosatom is building four VVER-1200 reactors, under a so-called BOO (build-own-operate) model. Construction of the first unit began in 2018. The 4800 MWe plant is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs, with the aim being to have all four units up and running by 2028.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 11 July 2023
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