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Turkey’s First Nuclear Power Plant Likely to be Delayed

Turkey's First Nuclear Power Plant Likely to be Delayed

Ankara – Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is likely to be delayed by at least a year, a source close to the plans said on Tuesday, as bureaucratic hurdles hamper the $20 billion project. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been an advocate of the country’s ambitious nuclear program, meant to help reduce its dependence on costly hydrocarbon imports by providing 10 percent of its electricity needs by 2023.

But its first planned 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant, being built by Russia’s Rosatom, is already falling behind schedule, with the first reactor unlikely to be operational by 2019 as planned. “Production in 2019 is not possible.  2020 is more likely,” one source close to the project told Reuters, noting that a nuclear reactor on this scale would need a test period of at least six to 12 months before it could be fully operational.

The start of construction for the Mersin Akkuyu plant in southern Turkey is scheduled for mid-2015 and by 2023 all four planned reactors are meant to have started generating power, but the project has still to obtain a construction license and has been hampered by other delays over the summer.An environmental report by Rosatom, which requires approval by Turkish authorities, had to be resubmitted to the Environment Ministry in September, months behind the planned schedule. (Reuters)

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