Turkey plans 3 nuclear power plants

Froday, November 26, 2004

ANKARA Turkey has revived its plans to erect nuclear power facilities.

Officials said Turkey planned to construct at least three nuclear power plants starting in 2011. They said the nuclear power reactors would seek to fulfill the nation's growing demand for electricity, Middle East Newsline reported.

"We have plans to build three nuclear power plants and they will come into operation one by one as of 2011," Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said. "We plan to meet eight to 10 percent of the energy demand with nuclear power."

Guler said the nuclear power facilities would have a total capacity of about 4,500 megawatts. He said his ministry was primarily considering uranium to fuel the plants, but was also examining the use of thorium.

"We have known reserves of 230,000 tons of thorium and 9,200 tons of uranium, but we are prospecting for more," Guler said.

Guler told the semi-official Anatolia news agency that no date has been set for a tender, which would be open to the private sector. He said that so far no site has chosen for the plants.

"The Energy Ministry has made all the required calculations and done the feasibility studies," he said. "We're just waiting for the word to start."

In 2000, Turkey shelved a tender for a nuclear power plant near Akuya Bay along the Mediterranean coast amid financial difficulties and protests from environmentalists in Turkey and neighboring Greece and Cyprus. Several Western companies, including the U.S.-based Westinghouse, Canada's AECL and France's NPI, competed for the project.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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