Turkey’s nuclear dreams face uncertain future

Turkey’s long-running dream of having a nuclear power plant continues to be clouded by uncertainty despite the fact that a recently concluded tender on the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant could soon to be finalized. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yıldız said the final decision on the tender would be made in June. Yıldız told Today’s Zaman newspaper that he will take the matter to the Cabinet after the Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company (TETAŞ) sends its assessment report on the tender to them. “It is likely that the report will be sent in the coming week. The Cabinet is expected to debate this matter during its meeting scheduled for June 12. If the Cabinet approves the bid, the consortium will sign the contract and proceed with construction of the plant,”

 Only one bidder, from Russia, actually submitted a bid for the tender, which was opened nine months ago.  Although TETAŞ considers the offered price for the plant’s electricity to be unacceptably high, Russian officials are sure they will be awarded the contract. In particular, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is said to be exerting great effort to make this happen. Meanwhile, some of the 13 companies that did not submit a bid, though they had requested the tender’s specifications, are expecting the tender to be cancelled. Adding a nuclear dimension to Turkey`s already heavy energy dependency on Russia is not seen as a wise step by global energy security analysts. 

Source: Today’s Zaman

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