President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that preparations for Turkey's second and third nuclear power plants will begin after the completion of the Akkuyu Power Plant in the country's south.
“It is not possible for anyone who has just a bit of sensitivity towards Turkey's economic independence and the Turkish nation's welfare to oppose nuclear energy. We are planning to activate the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant's first unit in 2023. After the Akkuyu plant, we will start the preparations for our second and even third nuclear power plant,” Erdoğan said on Nov. 9 during an opening ceremony of a building belonging to the Energy Market Regulation Institute (EPDK).
Erdoğan also targeted people opposing nuclear energy, saying that they were either in a “betrayal” or “negligence,” and that they were “acting with agendas” in mind.
“When 443 nuclear power plants are still active in the world's 32 countries, saying 'Let Turkey not own nuclear energy' is negligence -- if it is not betrayal. It is obvious that those talking about Turkey's efforts to reach clean nuclear energy have been acting with agendas other than sensitivity towards the environment,” Erdoğan said.
An intergovernmental agreement for the Akkuyu Power Plant was signed between Turkey and Russia in May 2010. The plant's groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 3, 2018, after which construction started at the first unit in the southern province of Mersin. The foundation of the second unit was laid in April 2020.
The foundation of the third unit was laid with a groundbreaking ceremony that was attended by Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin via video conference call on March 10.
As works continue at full speed, an application for the construction license of the fourth and last unit was made in May last year, with expectations that it will be obtained this year.
The operation start of the plant's first unit is planned for 2023 when the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the republic. All the remaining three units are due to start operations by the end of 2026, at a rate of one per year.