Turkey’s nuclear energy depends on Russia

Dr. Valeriia Gergiieva (c) IFSH

Turkey’s quest for nuclear energy is a long journey, which started in the 1950s and consisted of five failed attempts, before a last strategy shift in 2008. This allowed Turkey to sign a contract for nuclear cooperation with Russia in 2010, allowing Rosatom to build, own, and operate the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

In her article for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, IFSH Visiting Research Fellow Valeriia Gergiieva, together with Ali Alkis (Hacettepe University), analyzes the challenges Turkey faces in developing civil nuclear energy and its close ties to Russian company Rosatom.

This build-own approach, the authors state, makes Turkey heavily dependent on Russian technology. It does not solve the problem of being energy dependent on Russian gas, but adds another dependency.

Valeriia Gergiieva and Ali Alkis conclude that it is still possible for Turkey to mitigate the risks, through closer cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and diversifying vendors for future nuclear power plants.

You can read more about Turkey’s long journey to nuclear energy here.