World: Turkey builds first nuclear power plant, with help from Russia

The leaders of Turkey and Russia marked the official start of work to build Turkey’s first nuclear power station, launching construction of the $20 billion Akkuyu plant in the southern province of Mersin, euractiv.com reports.

The plant will be built by Russian state nuclear energy agency Rosatom and will be made up of four units each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdoğan marked the start to construction, watching by video link from Ankara.

“When all four units go online, the plant will meet 10% of Turkey’s energy needs,” Erdoğan said, adding that despite delays Turkey still planned to start generating power at the first unit in 2023.

Speaking at a later news conference with Putin, Erdoğan said the cost of the project may exceed the planned $20 billion for the 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant, part of Erdoğan’s “2023 vision” marking 100 years since the founding of modern Turkey and intended to reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports.

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