Turkey continuing negotiations over new nuclear power plants

11 March 2024

Turkey's Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar says it hopes to launch the first unit at Akkuyu by the end of the year - while negotiations continue with Russia, China and South Korea about two more nuclear power plants.

Construction readiness of unit 1 is more than 90% (Image: Akkuyu NPP)

According to a report in Takvim following a briefing, Bayraktar said that there were some issues relating to sanctions to overcome, but the aim was still to produce the first electricity from the Akkuyu nuclear power plant during 2024, with all four units scheduled to be completed by 2028.

That would meet 10% of the country's electricity needs, but he said that with the country's need for 20 GWe of installed nuclear capacity by 2050, it was also continuing to talk with Russia and South Korea about the second planned nuclear power plant in Turkey, in Sinop. He is reported to have said Russia's Rosatom "already have serious experience from the Akkuyu project, so we want to carry it on to Sinop, as well. Our negotiations continue with both sides".

The 4800 MWe Akkuyu plant, in the southern Mersin province, is Turkey's first nuclear power plant. Rosatom is building four VVER-1200 reactors, under a so-called BOO (build-own-operate) model. Construction of the first unit began in 2018. As well as plans for the second nuclear power plant, in Sinop, there are also plans for a third plant in the Thrace region, in the country's northwest.

On the Thrace project, Bayraktar is reported to have said that negotiations with China - which last September he had described as being at an "important point" - were now at a "very serious" stage.

Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev has not ruled out the possibility of Russia bidding for the third plant as well as Sinop - "it may well be so that several vendors will compete for it - we are not afraid of competition," he was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency last month. It reported him as saying that, on Sinop, Rosatom and Turkey were discussing technical designs and the "economic parameters of the project".

Turkey is also developing plans for small modular reactors, with the aim of adding 5 GWe of capacity by 2050 - which would mean a total of at least 16 individual SMRs.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News