Russia puts Turkey's first nuclear power plant on hold

Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom has stopped construction work on what will be Turkey’s first nuclear power plant due to disintegrating political relations between the two nations.

Turkey is reportedly looking elsewhere for other potential contractors to complete the plant in the southern town of Akkuyu. However, Rosatom has not yet terminated the $20bn contract due to the heavy compensation clauses involved. In addition, Russia has invested around $3.5bn in the project.

Rosatom was awarded the contract to build four 1200 MW reactors in 2013, with a planned completion date of 2019. However, regulatory issues and Russia’s economic difficulties have pushed this date back to 2022.  

"We need to clearly say that just as we are not dependent on one door for trade, Turkey is not a prisoner of one country’s technology regarding its nuclear plants," Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told the state-owned Anatolia news service this week. "We know that there are many countries, many companies that are ready to respond to Turkey’s demands."

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