South Korea offers to build four reactors for Turkey

A model of Turkey’s future Akkuyu nuclear power plant (Voice of America/public domain)
The Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) said yesterday that it had contacted the government of Turkey to propose the construction of four reactors with a total power output of 5.6GW, the Yonhap News agency reports.

The announcement follows a meeting on Monday between Cheong Seung-il, chief executive of Kepco, and Fatih Dönmez, Turkey’s energy minister.

Kepco said in a press statement that Cheong and Dönmez had discussed the commercial terms under which a possible plant would operate, how long it would take to build and where it might be sited. 

It said: “With the submission of a preliminary proposal by Kepco plans to conduct a project feasibility study jointly with Turkey [which is] expected to derive the optimal business promotion plan.”

The two sides have been in talks for some time over the plan, which is forecast to be worth about $33bn. In December, the Turkish government asked Kepco to submit a proposal.

The proposal is part of a concerted effort by Korea to expand export markets for its construction and engineering companies (see further reading).

Kepco is trying to capitalise on its largely successful implementation of the Barakah nuclear power station in the UAE to persuade other countries to opt for the APR1400 reactor. The company claims to be the only operator to have completed a plant within the original budget and schedule.

Turkey is in the process of expanding its nuclear sector. Four VVER-1200 reactors are currently being built by Russia at Akkuyu on its Mediterranean coast and another Russian development is being considered on the Black Sea coast.

Other companies competing for a share of future nuclear stations include a joint venture between France’s Framatome and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, American nuclear engineer Westinghouse and China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.

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