Turkey to invite bids for first nuclear power plant on Feb. 21

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ANKARA, Turkey: Turkey has revived plans to build its first nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean coast despite warnings from environmentalists that the site was in an earthquake prone location, the energy minister said Tuesday.

The minister, Hilmi Guler, said everything was ready for construction at Akkuyu, near the Mediterranean coastal town of Silifke, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Turkey will formally invite bids for the project on Feb. 21, he said.

Environmentalists already unhappy because of the safety concerns over nuclear power production oppose the use of the Akkuyu site because they say it is prone to earthquakes.

Guler has said that concerns over both issues would be taken into consideration in the plant's construction.

Studies to prepare another site at Sinop, a Black Sea port town, was also under way, Guler said.

The government has said it plans to build three nuclear power plants by 2015 to meet the country's growing energy needs. Turkey has limited energy resources, relying on natural gas supplies from Iran and Russia.

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