Yıldız: New working group to decide fate of nuclear plants

March 12, 2010, Friday/ 16:32:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Natural Resources and Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has expressed his ministry’s determination to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, stating that a new working group will start to draw up an internal report to assess the viability of progressing in the regions under consideration.

Answering questions from the press at the 3rd Solar Energy and Technologies Fair in İstanbul yesterday Yıldız announced that the next three to four months will be crucial for the realization of a nuclear power plant in either Sinop or Akkuyu, as the working group will analyze the feasibility of building in the regions and the legal framework needed. “If the conditions are positive, then we will move on to the next agreement; if they aren’t, then we will stop work in that specific region,” Yıldız noted.

Yıldız was referring to the cooperative agreement that had been signed between Turkey and South Korea on Wednesday regarding a nuclear power plant in Sinop and underlined that information on which private enterprise would be a partner in the nuclear plant was not yet set and was dependent on the offers received from firms. “We would prefer a firm close to the energy sector, that understands the transformation occurring in the industry and that has the capacity and the financial ability to work on this. But we don’t know which firm that will be. This is dependent on the offers we receive from the private sector, and the South Korean offer, and the Russian offer.”

Turkey’s Electricity Generation Holding Company (EÜAŞ) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) signed an agreement on Wednesday to launch talks on building a nuclear power plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop. This move, however, is seen as a move by the Turkish government to bypass the tender process, the Financial Times (FT) has said.

The FT said analysts have criticized the decision to select partners without a new tender. According to the FT, Yıldız stated that the new approach was within the rules and that the government would still be open to other bidders. “We don’t want to lose time – that’s why we chose this system ... We saw what happened in the tender system, and we got nowhere under those conditions,” he said.

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