Turkey decides on nuclear power plant site

13 February 2008

The Turkish government has decided to build its first nuclear power plant at Akkuyu, on the Mediterranean coast. This puts aside a decision two years ago to locate it at Sinop, on the Black Sea coast.

Akkuyu is the site which has been under consideration since the 1970s and up to 2000 for a nuclear power plant, and has the advantage of already being licensed. 

Sinop would have had the advantage of cooling water temperatures about 5 degrees below those at Akkuyu, allowing about 1% greater power output. The announcement of the site selection said that preparatory work is also under way to build a second nuclear plant there. In addition, Akkuyu is to be the site for a €1.7 billion ($2.5 billion) nuclear technology centre.

In May 2007, a new bill concerning construction and operation of nuclear power plants and the sale of their electricity was passed by parliament. This was confirmed in November and approved by the president. It allows for the private sector to build the plants and the state utility to buy all the electricity for 15 years.

The Turkish Electricity Trade & Contract Corporation (TETAS) is expected to call for bids on 21 February to build the first nuclear power plant. The Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) has issued specifications, allowing for PWR, BWR or PHWR types of at least 600 MWe and with 40 year service life. A government decision on plant type and construction arrangements is expected later in the year.