It was recently announced at the international Nuclear Technology Transfer Congress, that Turkey is to build three new nuclear power plants by 2023 as part of the country’s development programme. The aim is for Turkey to become one of the top ten economies in the world by this date.
At the moment Turkey has to import around 80% of its fuel from other countries, and this is greatly affecting its economic growth, and is causing the current account deficit to expand. These new power plants will be built with technology cooperation from other countries. By 2023 it is hoped that nuclear energy will be able to meet around 10% of Turkey’s energy needs.
At the moment Turkey doesn’t have any nuclear energy plants, but in 2006 the government announced plans to have three operational power plants up and running between 2012 and 2015. The plans were subsequently delayed by the nuclear disaster in Japan last year, and this event also forced the government to re-think its nuclear programme.
However there are concerns that Turkey may miss its chance if it doesn’t carry on with its programme. In April the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited China and signed a series of agreements aimed at peacefully utilising nuclear energy and power.
Turkey is also currently negotiating with a number of other countries, including Japan, Korea and Canada over the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop. It has already signed an agreement with Russia for the construction of a power plant in the port of Mersin.