Premiers agree on Sinop nuclear plant

30 October 2013

The Turkish and Japanese prime ministers have signed a framework agreement for the Sinop nuclear power plant and cooperation between the countries. It is the final stage before a commercial contract.

Abe and Erdogan, October 2013 (Basbakanlik) 250x141
Prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Dolmabahce Palace yesterday

The future nuclear power plant at Sinop on Turkey's Black Sea Coast would feature four Atmea1 pressurized water reactor units, a product of a joint venture between Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Other members of the project consortium are Itochu and Gdf Suez, which will operate the power plant. Site preparation is already underway. Construction is expected to start in 2017, and power generation in 2023. Turkish power company EUAS has said it intends to take a 25% stake in the plant.

The framework agreement sets out its structure and the scope of cooperation between the countries. Once this host government agreement is ratified by the Turkish parliament, the terms and conditions of a final commercial contract to build can be drawn up. Leader of the consortium Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said negotiations have not concluded on the specifics of power sales contracts and finance.

The meeting of leaders yesterday coincided with celebrations of the Turkish nation's 90th year of independence as well as the opening of the Marmaray tunnel, built by Japanese consortium to connect the east and west parts of Istanbul - and Europe to Asia.

Erdogan acknowledged that nuclear power brings risks as well as benefits, pointing out that no technology could be guaranteed 100% safe. He praised the strong strategic relationship between Turkey and Japan, noting his partners had a responsibility to share the lessons learned from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi two years ago. The leaders signed a joint declaration on cooperation in science and technology.

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (ETKB) takes responsibility for meeting Turkey's growing energy needs. Nuclear power is foreseen as taking an increasing role, reducing dependence on the gas imports from Russia and Iran that currently fuel 45% of power generation.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News