Akkuyu: Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

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Akkuyu: Turkey’s first nuclear power plant


The first nuclear power plant in Turkey, Akkuyu, located in the province of Mersin on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is now operational, according to recent Turkish media reports citing the country's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. This will coincide with the Turkish Republic's centennial celebrations on April 27, 2023. In a live broadcast, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan announced the shipment of nuclear fuel and the inauguration of the Akkuyu with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, either in person or virtually.

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant is comprised of four units, according to statements by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, data from the Turkish Ministry of Energy, and information from the project's Russian manager, Rosatom. The maximum output of the four reactors is 4,800 MW.Turkish officials estimate that when the reactors are completely operational in 2026, they will supply 10% of the country's energy needs. Ankara will be the 33rd nuclear state once Akkuyu is operational.

Sinop province on the Black Sea coast is where Turkey's second nuclear power plant is reportedly being constructed with Japan's cooperation. In addition, Ankara intendeds to construct a third nuclear power plant with Chinese assistance, though details are not yet known. Meanwhile, preliminary agreements to construct four nuclear power plants in northern Turkey have reportedly been made between Turkey and South Korea.

Just what do Erdogan and the AKP want to accomplish with this grand scheme? This question has garnered global attention and has become a pressing issue.The government in Ankara, led by Erdogan, has consistently advocated for the peaceful use of nuclear energy in international forums, emphasising his desire to cut energy consumption by at least 20% over an extended period of time. According to the news website Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Erdogan made dangerous comments about the nuclear issue about two years ago, stating that Turkey should possess nuclear weapons.

Turkeyscope, a publication sponsored by the Tel Aviv University-affiliated Moshe Dayan Institute, reported in a research article that Erdogan's statements have long demonstrated Ankara's desire for nuclear deterrence power.The Turkish government first started considering nuclear power in 1962, when the TR-1 experimental reactor was opened in the Küçükçekmece district of Istanbul. Many observers believe that Turkey's nuclear foray will result in global complications due to Erdogan's unquenchable desire for more power and status on regional and international levels.The immediate goal of Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party in importing nuclear fuel from Russia and activating only one unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, according to political analysts in Turkey and some of Erdogan's opponents, is nothing but propaganda in the run-up to the presidential elections.


By: N. Daneshvar

 

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