Cyprus says it will lodge protests over the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant a few dozen kilometers from the east Mediterranean island nation. Cyprus government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Thursday that the country’s foreign ministry will spearhead protests over the plant’s future operation on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Prodromou said Turkey has ignored concerns expressed by many including the European Parliament. One worry raised is that the Akkuyu area, where the plant is to be built, is earthquake-prone. He said Ankara also discounted studies about the plant’s possible environmental impact and failed to consult neighboring countries.
Washington Post 5th April 2018 read more »
Business Insider 5th April 2018 read more »
Turkey’s economic growth and expanding population is expected to drive up demand for electricity in the next decade. Nuclear also promises to facilitate to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Not only does it displace coal, but it also makes renewables (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal) more appealing. When the sun does not shine or the wind is low, there is a need for back-up. Government officials in Ankara have been making plans for two or even three nuclear power plants on both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea coasts. So Russia and Turkey look like a perfect match. One has the goods, the other – the market. And on top of that, the two former rivals have been getting diplomatically and politically closer. Started in 2010 and implemented by Russia’s state-owned conglomerate Rosatom, the project’s first unit should be completed by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic. Once all four units become operational, they will generate about 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity – enough to keep a huge city like Istanbul running. Whether Akkuyu moves according to schedule therefore depends on how quickly the Turkish side finds a strategic investor. Ultimately, it might turn out that direct or indirect budget transfers would be required. Like anywhere in the world, nuclear energy is not feasible without some form of state support or even direct payments. In other words, Turkey would end up propping up Rosatom, BOO model notwithstanding. The Russian company has already signed contracts to the tune of $4.2 billion. That is well beyond the $3 billion Rosatom has chipped in so far. Raising money on global capital markets is a tough proposition, beating in mind the sanctions against Russia. It would not be surprising at all, in that sense, if the Kremlin is pressuring the Turkish government to pay up or bring in another minority shareholder to replace CKK. The question whether this is the most effective way to spend public resources may become pertinent, especially if more clouds start gathering over the Turkish economy.
Ahval 5th April 2018 read more »