Turkish Government Says 'Evet' (Yes) to Nuclear Bid
Greenpeace and other environmental organizations have been campaigning for many years to halt Turkey's nuclear-power program. ("Hayır" means "no" in Turkish.)
Environmentalists gloated a bit after Turkey received only one bid to build a nuclear reactor in the Akkuyu district of Mersin, on the country's Mediterranean coast. But the Turkish government seems to have found a loophole in competition laws that would have kept the project from going ahead without additional bidders.The Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) was expected to announce on Friday that a joint Turkish-Russian venture could proceed with construction plans for the 4,000-megawatt nuclear plant, the country's first. Plans for the Akkuyu plant were cancelled in 2000 and provisionally reinstated six years later. TAEK is also trying to establish a regional atomic-energy agency for the Turkic countries of Central Asia.
Currently, Turkey gets much of its energy from natural gas piped in from Russia and Iran, whose own nuclear ambitions may be helping drive Turkey's. Officials say that proposed nuclear-power plants could provide about a tenth of the oil-poor country's projected energy needs.
Turkey has been studying the possibility of producing nuclear energy since the 1960s, an idea that has met with stiff resistance from environmentalists and others concerned about contamination, earthquake safety, and nuclear proliferation. Turkey's Black Sea region, where another nuclear plant is proposed in Sinop, was contaminated by fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in the Ukraine. According to the German news organization Deutsche Welle,
"Then-President Turgut Ozal claimed in all seriousness that radioactive tea tasted better, and local farmers were left in the lurch with their radioactive crops…. the hospitals in the Black Sea region are [now] overflowing with cancer patients."
Via: "Russia to build Turkey’s 1st nuclear plant," Today's Zaman
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