Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another setback on Turkey's nuclear dream

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant tender has been cancelled.

Ozgur Gurbuz / 20 November 2009

Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) had gone to the higher court (State Council) and opposed to the regulation of the nuclear tender. 10 days ago, State Council took a decision in favor of the TMMOB and decided to declare a motion of stay on those 3 articles. Today, TETAS (Turkish Electricity Trade and Contracting Corporation) announced the cancellation at the end of the dispute. They must have seen that the current bid was going no where but to a difficult court battle.

There was a single consortium in the current bid (Atomstroyexport, Inter Rao and Park Teknik from Turkey) which offered a price of 21 cent per kWh, then lowered it to 15 cent per kWh to sell electricity. The price was also found high in Turkey and got many criticisms. I do not think the current government will give up of its nuclear dreams but have a difficult time to change the regulation and find new bidders for the possible new tender. If they insist, there is also a price hurdle, the new offered price must be lower than 15 cent per kWh otherwise the government will have an explanation to the public on why they did not accept the previous bid.

Good news for the anti nuclear activists and the environmentalists, bad news for the government and nuclear supporters. Turkey, one of the sunniest, windiest country of Europe, with lots of energy efficiency and geothermal potential is remain to be a nuclear free state as environmentalists wished and campaigned for a long time.

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