New Nuclear Power Plant Being Built In Turkey, Financed By Russia
TURKEY - The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which is being built near Mersin, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is being constructed by the Russian state-owned nuclear power company, Rosatom, and is set to come online with its first two reactors in 2023. Even though Russia has invaded Ukraine in a special military operation, and NATO is the official nation group to stand against Russia for its actions, Turkey is still on track with its Russian collaborated nuclear energy contract.
The many sanctions which have been imposed on Russia raise questions about Turkey-Russia collaboration, along with the stance Turkey, a current NATO member nation, is taking by working with Russia and allowing Rosatom to finance and build the plant, according to Aljazeera.
Potential blocks by nations such as the United States, and members of the European Union through the form of sanctions, have begun to raise the suspicion of delays in the completion of the project which is estimated to cost around $20 billion.
The nuclear power company Rosatom has yet to be sanctioned by the international community, but it has been discussed in international forums. Financial Groups that fund the company, such as Sberbank, have been sanctioned; however, Rosatom has yet to be sanctioned directly.
The new Akkuyu power plant, when all 4 reactors come online, will provide 10% of the nation's energy needs in Turkey, and the project is completely funded by the Russian capital, says Turkey's Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
Bloomberg has stated, the banks included in the funding are Sberbank, which has funded $1.2 billion since 2019, and Sovcombank in the amount of $300 million. Both institutions are Russian, but on paper, these are loans with expectations that the money will be paid back, and not grants.
If Rosatom is imposed with sanctions, the delivery of materials and equipment for the project could be delayed and even halted. Stated materials for the power plant have been coming from countries such as the Czech Republic, South Korea, and Hungary. The main steam component for the power plant originated in France, from a subsidiary of General Electric, GE Steam Power.
Even though during the construction phase of the project, Russia is responsible for all expenses, based on the build-own-operate model, which is the 1st of its kind in the global nuclear industry, Another Turkish official involved in the project has presented the idea of Turkey assuming funding responsibility, and claiming compensation from Russia at a later date to move the project along, according to the Middle East Monitor.
Turkey still holds a dependency on Russian energy, which was the majority of imports in 2021, and its airspace remains open to Russian domiciled aircraft. Pressure from NATO allies has not begun as of yet, but the ideas have been speculated as Turkey is still largely involved with Russia in its trading practices.
An even more interesting development is that Turkish goods exported to Russia have only decreased by 50%, while exports to Ukraine have completed halted, as stated by Turkey's central bank just last week, according to Bloomberg News.
Turkey has yet to impose sanctions on Russia, being as Turkey is a NATO member, and Russia intends to maintain its interdependence with as many countries as possible. The Akkuyu project has been placed in the status of top priority, which is seen as a Russian nuclear facility in a NATO country.
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