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IAEA Reviews Turkey's Progress in Nuclear Power Development

INIR

Many discussions were held between the INIR mission team and their Turkish counterparts during the two-week mission. (Photo: MENR)

An IAEA-led team of international experts who reviewed Turkey's programme for introducing nuclear power found that important progress has been made in the development of the country's nuclear infrastructure. They noted that the programme enjoys strong government support and recognized several good practices, such as effective coordination among Government organizations, and the plan to establish a fund for future safety upgrades at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. The team also made recommendations for further actions.

The experts, assembled at Turkey's request by the IAEA, conducted an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Turkey from 4 to 14 November 2013.

"The INIR Mission report will help us develop our national policy in nuclear energy, and our project company will help us in developing the requirements identified in the report," said Mr. Metin Kilci, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR), during the exit meeting of the mission.

In all, 25 organizations involved in building the national nuclear infrastructure were in the discussions with the mission team including the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority, the Akkuyu Project Company, the national Electricity Generation Joint Stock Company EUAS, and other organizations.

Turkey's Nuclear Power Programme

Turkey decided to include nuclear power in its energy mix to meet the increasing demand for electricity and support its economic development. The country has a project to build a nuclear power plant at Akkuyu with the Russian Federation and is developing another project at Sinop with Japan. The share of nuclear power in Turkish electricity generation is aimed to reach at least 10 per cent by 2023.

"Turkey is implementing the Build-Own-Operate, or BOO, approach; it is the first time in the history of nuclear power that this approach has been used," said Jong Kyun Park, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power and Team Leader for the INIR Mission. "This method is very interesting because it solves two of the biggest challenges that newcomers face: financing and experienced operators."

The mission's recommendations included completing a national policy on nuclear energy, strengthening the regulatory body, and developing a national plan for human resource development.

"The government of Turkey has established effective coordination mechanisms and has involved a large number of institutions that have a role in the establishment of the infrastructure needed to support the nuclear power programme," Mr. Park added. "Still, the country has more work to do to successfully implement the programme."

This is the 12th INIR Mission organized by the IAEA. Other embarking countries have also benefited from this service, including Bangladesh, Belarus, Indonesia, Jordan, Poland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. In early 2013, South Africa hosted an INIR Mission as the first operating country considering expansion of its nuclear power programme.

Background

INIR missions are designed to help IAEA member States assess the status of their national infrastructure for the introduction of nuclear power. The mission reviews the 19 issues identified in the Agency's publication Milestones in the Introduction of a National Nuclear Power Programme (IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NG-G-3.1).

An INIR mission team consists of IAEA staff and international experts. By providing a comprehensive assessment of all facets of a nuclear power programme, spanning the regulatory body, utility and all relevant Government stakeholders involved, INIR is a valuable tool for promoting transparency and openness.


-- By Anne Starz and Elisabeth Dyck, IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy

(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)