Turkey aims to build home-grown nuclear industry
Turkey wants to build a home-grown nuclear industry over the next decade as it seeks to cut reliance on costly imported oil and gas, according to a report by Reuters. The fast-growing nation of 76 million people, which faces a ballooning energy deficit, last week awarded a $22 billion deal to a Japanese-French consortium to build its second nuclear power plant at Sinop on the Black Sea coast. The development of its planned first nuclear plant was also handed to a foreign company - Russia’s Rosatom. However, the government hopes that by the time it builds its third planned nuclear plant, local talent and technology will be the backbone of the project. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Ankara was looking for its third plant to be 80-85% built with Turkish engineering and expertise, although a foreign partner would probably still be involved in the financing. “We will wait for the third plant in order to accumulate our nuclear experience. We would team up with a foreign partner, but the third one will not be a build-and-operate deal,” Reuters quoted him as saying. Turkey is adopting the same model that Gulf states with atomic ambitions such as the United Arab Emirates have used - relying on foreign talent and financing to build, operate and maintain their first plants as they seek to develop indigenous expertise. Turkey is working to establish universities and vocational colleges near Sinop, where the second plant will be located, with the aim of educating a new generation of nuclear engineers.
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