by Ali Alkis, and Valeriia Gergiieva – originally published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

In May 2023, Turkey’s first nuclear reactor will receive its first fresh fuel. The Akkuyu nuclear power plant—which includes four units of Russian-designed VVER-1200 reactors—is expected to be fully operational by 2026. But this progress is happening amid growing concerns over the stability of Turkish-Russian nuclear cooperation.

Turkey already imports natural gas from Russia, and the nuclear agreement would create more dependence on Russia—for nuclear technology, nuclear fuel, and training of staff to operate the nuclear power plant. This comes with no small amount of risk; Russia has shown it can use energy dependence as a tool in political bargaining.

A long journey

Ankara’s quest for nuclear energy dates to the late 1950s. The motivation for this nearly six-decade-long journey has been associated with the development of Turkey in terms of economic growth and energy security. More important, the development of nuclear power has been seen as a symbol of Turkey’s modernization.

Read the Full Article in The Bulletin

SOURCEThe Bulletin


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