Despite Japan, Turkey Goes Ahead With Nuclear Reactors

turkey coast akkuyu region sea Forty years in the making: Turkey still intent on building the country’s first nuclear reactor on this serene spot on the Mediterranean Coast. Cyprus says the zone falls right on a fault line.

Despite the insanity and the imminent meltdown of Japan’s nuclear facilities now going from bad to worse, countries in the Middle East are announcing their clear intentions to stick with nuclear programs. Earlier this week Israel announced it would continue planning for a nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert, Australia offered uranium to the United Arab Emirates, and now Turkey, the People’s Daily of China reports, is going ahead with the construction of its first nuclear reactor, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday. In fact for Turkey, the sooner, the better he urged. “We want to finish them as soon as possible,” Erdogan told a press conference before he left for Russia for a visit this week. Russia is a partner in the new plant being constructed in Akkuyu, expected to cost about $20 billion USD.

According to the report, Turkey signed a deal worth $20 billion with Russia last May to build its first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu on Turkey’s pristine Mediterranean coast. The licensing process of the plant has already begun. Turkey is also holding talks with Japan on a second nuclear power plant in Sinop on the Black Sea coast. The Akkuyu site is to be built, owned and operated by Russia, and it will run four 1200 MWe VVER units.

Erdogen’s response to the risks posed by environmentalists: He said there was no investment without risk, noting that if people wanted a no-risk environment, they should “not build crude oil lines in their country and not use gas in their kitchens.”

World Nuclear News says: “The agreement also provides for Russia and Turkey to cooperate in other areas of the nuclear fuel cycle including the treatment of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, decommissioning and the possible construction of a Turkish nuclear fuel fabrication plant. However, such cooperation would be carried out under separate terms.”

It is reported that South Korea is involved in a bid to build four nuclear reactors on Turkey’s Black Sea coast at Sinop.

Cyprus Against Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions

Meanwhile Cyprus is not too happy about Turkey’s nuclear ambitions. Cyprus Mail says: “Akkuyu is close to the active Ecemis fault line and as such the whole area is vulnerable to earthquakes.”

“Radiation may be transferred via air or sea and in the case of leakage, it would certainly reach and contaminate the island,” the country’s environment minister warned. “Radiation exposure has long-lasting effects on people’s health and may result to death or chronic illnesses of those exposed and their children.”

Isn’t this a clear sign that we should be investing billions in solar and wind, and not technology of the past?

:: People’s Daily of China

Read more on nuclear energy in the Arab world:
Australia Offers Uranium Sales to the UAE
Israel Seeks To Build Nuclear Plants With Arab Neighbors
Nuclear Powered Water for the UAE?

Update: Israel says it will suspend its civilian nuclear program

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