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Turkey's $22B nuclear plant to be tsunami, quake proof

It is a $22 billion investment, Turkey's energy minister says at the groundbreaking for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant's marine hydro-technic structure

Turkey's $22B nuclear plant to be tsunami, quake proof


 Building nuclear power plants does not mean Turkey will ignore renewable and other local sources of energy, Turkish energy minister said Tuesday.

Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz made the remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant’s “marine hydro-technical structures,” which will be built in southern Mersin province. The structure will be built as part of the main plant to provide necessary cooling infrastructure and avoid wastage; it also includes a port connected to the main plant.

"If it was operational today, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant could have met the electricity needs of Istanbul which has a 15 million population. It is a $22 billion investment in a relatively small area," Yildiz said at the ceremony.

He said that the plant would meet all safety parameters, including being resistant to tsunamis and earthquakes. He added that a nuclear power plant did not mean that Turkey would ignore other renewable and local sources of energy.

"The plant will have a 60-year life cycle. A country's development cannot occur without nuclear energy, but we also have to put other resources like water and solar into use," he said.  

Last Tuesday, a tender worth $1 billion was held to determine the builder of the "marine hydro-technic structure," which the Turkish Cengiz Holding won.

Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation, said that 10,000 people would be employed at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant that would contribute hugely to the Turkish economy.

"We will see how we can work with the second and third companies in last week's tender for marine structures," Kiriyenko said.

He added that in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011, new technology was being used in Akkuyu to avoid similar incidents.

The construction of Turkey's first Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will begin in 2016 and the first reactor is estimated to be operational in 2019. The other planned three reactors are due to become fully operational in 2023.

In 2010, Turkey had agreed to cooperate with Russia for its first nuclear power plant.

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