Turkey starts work on 2 more nuclear power plants: Erdoğan

Turkey will quickly begin preparations for its second and third nuclear power plants, the country’s president said on Tuesday.

These will follow the country’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, which is being built in the southern province of Mersin.

“We carry out our studies taking into account the growing energy demand. We plan to commission the first block of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant (NPP) in 2023, ”said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan via video link from the capital Ankara at an opening ceremony of the power plants.

“After the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, we will quickly begin preparations for our second and third power plants,” said Erdoğan.

Akkuyu is being built by Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom. The two countries signed a cooperation agreement in 2010 and started construction in 2018. The first block of the plant should be completed by May 2023.

Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin started building the third of a total of four reactors at the plant in March.

The three remaining blocks are scheduled to go into operation by the end of 2026, one per year with a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW).

Construction of the second block began in June last year. The groundbreaking ceremony for the fourth reactor will take place next year.

After completion, the plant will produce 35 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually and cover around 10% of the domestic electricity demand.

It will have an estimated lifespan of 60 years with an extension of another 20 years and produce zero carbon energy around the clock.

After meeting Putin in September, Erdoğan said Russia could also be involved in building Turkey’s second and third nuclear power plants.

“We talked to Mr. Putin about building two more nuclear power plants next to Akkuyu. He agreed to work on the subject, ”Erdoğan said.

As a base load power plant, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will play a leading role in reducing dependence on imported energy resources, particularly natural gas.

“For those who are the least sensitive to Turkey’s economic independence and the well-being of the Turkish nation, it is impossible to oppose nuclear energy,” Erdoğan said on Tuesday.

“We will look for ways to make greater use of our renewable energy sources.”

The total investment in the facility is estimated to be around $ 20 billion.

The giant project is expected to employ around 15,000 people during its main construction period and around 4,000 people during operation.

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