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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkish nuclear plant deal with Russia submitted to parliament

RIA Novosti

12:02 02/07/2010

ANKARA, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian-Turkish intergovernmental agreement on the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant has been submitted to the Turkish parliament, national media said on Friday.

The agreement to build the plant near the Mediterranean port of Mersin was signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Turkey in May. The plant is expected to be put into operation in 2016-2019.

The head of Russia's state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom, part of a Russian-Turkish consortium for the plant construction, earlier said Russia would maintain a controlling stake in the $18-20-billion project to be implemented by Atomstroyexport, Rosatom's export arm.

Sergei Kiriyenko said the project would also include the creation of a nuclear engineering company which, in the initial phase, will be owned completely by Russia.

The power plant will operate under IAEA guarantees, and the spent nuclear fuel supplied to the plant by Russia will be repatriated.

Moscow and Ankara have successfully cooperated in the energy sphere, including on the Blue Stream gas pipeline project, the South Stream gas pipeline and the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

In early June, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Istanbul for talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the visit, the two countries signed an agreement on the monitoring of nuclear safety and agreed to speed up bilateral energy deals.

Experts say, however, that the construction of the nuclear plant in Turkey will be problematic due to the lack of harmonized legislation between the two countries.

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