Due to increase of energy demand, consumption and especially external energy dependence of Turkey, the requirement of new energy resources has come to the fore. Since the primary energy resources such as natural gas and petroleum are exhaustible, nuclear energy has been a preferred energy resource in the world. As an energy import dependent country, also Turkey has been planning to meet its energy gap through the nuclear energy power plants. For this purpose, there are several nuclear power plant projects in Turkey and as one of them, Akkuyu’s contribution to energy supply of Turkey is expected by experts.
Akkuyu Project in financial and legal aspects
Akkuyu Project is the first nuclear power plant project of Turkey which has been actual since 2010 and it is confirmed within the bilateral agreement with the government of Russia Federation. Completion of licensing, ground studies and land allocation process is expected until 2015. If the project is completed in due time, the nuclear power plant will be put partially in operation in 2020. The project will be conducted by Akkuyu NGS Elektrik Üretim A.Ş. According to the terms and conditions, Turkey is instructed in licensing procedures. The importance of this project appears not only regarding energy supply, but also regarding the investitions in Turkey. For this project, approximately USD 20 billion have been invested. According to the explanations of this company, a part of its shares may be transferred to third parties. In that case, this may be an opportunity also for Turkish investors. In addition to this, equipment supply of the nuclear power plant by Turkish companies is planned, especially the construction works may be conducted by domestic companies. The incentives for this project and for other nuclear energy investments are stated in the related regulations and in the bilateral agreement concerning Akkuyu Project. According to the Law on Establishment of Nuclear Power Plants, the Council of Ministers is authorised to decide on incentives for technology providing oriented investments. The incentives which are provided to Project Owner Company in the bilateral agreement refer to license procedures, land allocation and electricity supply, accordingly Turkey will provide land allocation, facilities in land expropriation and license obtaining procedures.
Moreover, according to the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Russia for Akkuyu Project, TETAŞ (Turkish Electricity Trade Company) has guaranteed the purchase of a certain amount of the produced electricity over Cent/USD 12,35 for 15 years. According to an opinion, this price may be regarded as a profit if the estimated electricity prices in the future are considered, whereas another opinion set forth that the fixed price guarantee may be considered disadvantageous due to the risks of inflation and of construction costs reduce which may increase the liability for constructions and materials control.
Role of nuclear energy in energy supply: expectations and discussions
As mentioned above,nuclear will take a crucial part in electricity production of after 2020 following to the completion of the first power unit. However, the “use of nuclear energy” and “establishment of nuclear power plants” have been discussed many times especially regarding nuclear power plants’ safety against external factors and environmental safety.
Briefly, use of nuclear energy in electricity production has been analysed and discussed in Turkey with regard to its advantages and disadvantages since years. It is expected that energy import and energy dependency of Turkey will decrease with the completion of Akkuyu Project and other nuclear power plant projects and it is also set forth that the production of electricity from nuclear energy will contribute to energy resource diversity of Turkey to a large extent.