Nuclear energy a must for Turkey, says President

By Selen Tonkus and Ata Ufuk Seker, Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Turkey needs nuclear energy to reduce dependence on foreign energy supplies

Turkey needs nuclear energy to reduce dependence on foreign energy supplies

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Turkey needs nuclear power plants (NPP) to diversify its energy resources as its economy grows rapidly, Turkey’s President said Tuesday.

“Turkey’s legislations and applications about nuclear security are developing,” Abdullah Gul said a Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague.

On Monday, Gul and officials from 11 other countries signed a joint statement, agreeing to eliminate highly enriched uranium within their borders.

-The economic benefits of nuclear energy -

The economic benefits of nuclear energy are greater than its risks, experts told AA.

Despite nuclear energy being a high hazard industry, the rewards outweigh the risks, Idaho University professor of nuclear energy Akira Tokuhiro told AA on Monday.

"If a [country] develops a nuclear energy sector, it joins a 'membership of nuclear energy nations,' which is an elite list of nations," he added.

He explained that nuclear power plants help reduce foreign deficit and generate employment, while also guaranteeing uninterrupted and cheap energy for heating, cooling and lightening.

The reliability, availability, lower costs and environmental damage of nuclear energy far overshadow the death toll stemming from nuclear accidents, according to Bill Garland, nuclear energy professor at Canada’s McMaster University.

 “If people thought critically about the energy options, they would likely conclude that nuclear energy should be part of the mix."  

Turkey relies heavily on foreign energy resources such as natural gas and oil, which account for almost half the electricity production in the country with an annual cost of up to $60 billion. The government aims to curb the reliance on energy imports.

Turkey's first nuclear power plant (NPP) is being built by Russian state company Rosatom in Akkuyu, on the Mediterranean coast, and will be fully operational by 2023.

Turkey also plans to build a second nuclear plant in the port city of Sinop on the Black Sea coast with a Franco-Japanese consortium. After negotiations with Japan, there were speculations that Turkey could have access to enriched uranium, which could be used in nuclear weapons.

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