Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said he ordered the country’s nuclear authority to measure radioactivity in the east after the deadly earthquake in Van province for fear of leaks from a nuclear plant in Armenia.
“I asked the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority to immediately conduct tests,” Yıldız told a group of journalists in Ankara while speaking at a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Hürriyet Daily News.
Turkey is preparing to take legal action against all superannuated nuclear power plants across the world, including Metzamor in Armenia, the minister said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will receive from Turkey complaints about dozens of nuclear plants across the world that have already exceed an age of 40, Yıldız said.
“Some countries are announcing that they are putting an end to nuclear power and closing superannuated plants, but they are continuing to build new ones,” he said. “This is not right.”
However, the minister declined to specify any country by name.
Siemens, Germany’s biggest nuclear energy company, was turning the page on nuclear energy, the group’s chief executive told the Der Spiegel weekly in September.
The government in Germany had earlier announced it will withdraw from nuclear energy after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that took more than 20,000 lives.
Turkey’s to-be-built nuclear plant near the town of Akkuyu in the southern province of Akkuyu would be “the strongest building in the country,” Yıldız said. As risk grows, security measures grow too, he said.
“We will invest some $20 billion there. It will become an important part of the overall energy system and we will still bear risks. Sorry, but neither the state nor the private sector would take such a risk. One should be crazy, otherwise. We will not let it happen. No need to worry about it.”
Russian state-owned nuclear power company ROSATOM is the contractor for the project.
The country plans two more power plants, one in the northern province of Sinop and another in the Thracian region but talks with contractors for these projects were interrupted by the Fukushima accident.