An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that four companies had submitted early bids in the tender process. In fact those companies have only bought bidding specification documents. WNN apologises for any undue excitement caused and has corrected the errors below.
Four companies - Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), Vinci, Suez and Itochu - have bought documents in order to bid on the construction of a nuclear power plant at Akkuyu, Turkey. The firms have until 24 September to complete their bids.
Buying the bid specification documents is a necessary step before preparing and submitting a bid. Other companies are expected to do the same in the coming five months and bids are eventually expected to come from further companies in Russia and the USA, while Areva and Kepco of France and South Korea respectively have expressed interest in Turkey's nuclear energy ambitions. The Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has said it expects Turkish companies to set up consortia with the foreign bidders.
The first nuclear project is set at the Akkuyu site on the Mediterranean coast. Plans for nuclear build at Akkuyu were put on hold in 2000, due to serious economic difficulties in Turkey at that time. Another possible location for nuclear capacity which has long been discussed is Sinop, on the Black Sea. There have been several attempts to launch a nuclear build program in the country since the 1970s.
The new nuclear power market in Turkey is to be overseen by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority, which will choose sites, set reactor criteria, select vendors and set a fixed price for the power produced. Specifications for Akkuyu allow for pressurized water, boiling water or pressurized heavy water reactors of at least 600 MWe and with 40 year service life. The tender for the new plant is due to be issued in September this year.