The South Korean president is visiting Turkey with the aim of discussing ways to expand cooperation, especially over Turkish plans to build nuclear power plants. The South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and is expected to discuss ways of expanding trade ties between the two countries and furthering infrastructure construction, but it’s also highly likely that nuclear power plant construction will be on the agenda.
Turkey is planning to build two nuclear power plants, one of which will be on the Mediterranean coast in Akkuyu while the other will be on the Black Sea coast in Sinop. Turkey has already reached an agreement with Russia over the construction of the power plant in Akkuyu and had been in discussions with Japan over the second nuclear power plant on the Black Sea coast, but talks were suspended after last year’s nuclear power accident in Japan.
This isn’t the first time Turkey has discussed plans with South Korea to build nuclear reactors, as during 2010 there were intense negotiations over the $20 billion project to build four nuclear reactors on the Black Sea coast, but the talks ended in failure. During the G 20 summit in Cannes last November, Erdogan asked South Korea to participate in the nuclear power plant project. Nuclear energy meets around 40% of South Korea’s electricity needs, and the country has been trying to export nuclear power plants since winning a huge contract in 2009 to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. With its lack of natural energy resources, nuclear power is seen as one way Turkey can meet its growing demand for electricity.