President Gul signs Turkey's nuclear energy law

Nicosia, Dec.4: Turkey's President Abdullah GulTurkey's President Abdullah Gul has recently signed the law on nuclear energy which was passed early in November by the Turkish Parliament. Gul's predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer had vetoed the relevant legislation.

Turks have been debating the pros and cons of building a nuclear power plant for almost 30 years. Previous Turkish governments tried to get such a project going three different times, but ended up shelving their plans in the face of opposition from environmental groups.

The Turkish government wants to build three nuclear power stations having a total generating capacity of 5,000 mw.
The first such plant will be built at the Black Sea city of Sinop, some 435km northeast of Ankara and is expected to help meet the country's energy demand for the next 15 years. Construction work will start next year.

Tenders will be submitted after the Turkish Electricity Trade and Contract Corporation ( TETAS) sets up the relevant criteria for companies eligible to bid. A public company will be created at a later stage by the Turkish cabinet to build and operate nuclear power plants and sell the energy that will be produced.

Turkey's current energy needs amount to 88m tons of petrol, with 72 per cent of that amount currently being met by foreign suppliers

Turkey has uranium reserves totaling around 10,000 tons, according to the authorities -- enough to last 50 years. Turkey must invest approximately $128 billion in energy infrastructure by 2020 to keep pace with rising demand and to move from dependence on foreign oil and natural gas. (ANI)