Turkish lawmakers back nuclear

10 May 2007

Turkey has adopted a law enabling state agencies to choose where a nuclear power plant could be built, which company would build it, and guarantee the purchase of the electricity for 15 years.

The law is entitled Law Concerning the Construction and Operation of Nuclear Power Plants and the Sale of Energy Generated from Nuclear Power Plants.

While allowing private companies to one day bid to build up to three reactors which would provide 5000 MWe of electricity, the law requires authorities to set purchase prices for the power, based on the companies' tenders. The Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) would determine tender specifications and evaluate bids. It is possible that public companies could build nuclear plants, but this would require cabinet approval.

The law also provides that electricity distribution companies would be required to purchase a proportion of their power from the nuclear plants for a period of 15 years. In this way, officials would expect to reduce risk for both the state, which seeks reliable large-scale power, and the private companies embarking on a large nuclear project in a country with a very small nuclear sector. Turkey currently has two research reactors but no nuclear power plants.

Companies producing nuclear power would pay tax-free contributions to two separate nationally-managed funds for radioactive waste management and the eventual decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

The Turkish electricity sector has been gradually transformed since it was controlled by a state-owned vertically-integrated company. Changes in 1993 and 2001 have created separate companies for electricity wholesale, transmission, fossil-fired power plants and hydroelectric dams, but no company currently has the remit for nuclear power plants.

Turkish electricity distribution is split into 21 regions, of which the Turkish Electricity Distribution Company (Tedas) controls 20. Plans to privatize Tedas have seen separate companies established in each region with three from larger regions earmarked for early privatization.

Further information

Turkish Atomic Energy Authority

WNN: Turkey plans incentives for nuclear

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