Turkey set to pull out of nuclear power project with Japan

Turkey's President Erdoğan said the country's second nuclear power plant project, which had been slated for construction in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Sinop under a Japanese-French partnership, is set to be terminated, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported on Wednesday.

In 2013, Turkey signed a contract with Atmea, a Japanese-French consortium comprising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva, for the construction of the Sinop plant, which was to be built under a build-operate-transfer scheme.

Tougher safety measures that came into force following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 have more than doubled the estimated costs of the project to $44 billion from $20 billion, while the slide of Turkey’s lira also contributed to the decision.

"We are not at the point we’d wished on the Sinop nuclear power plant project. We’re confronted with a situation which is not compatible with our initial agreement in terms of both cost and the project timeline," Erdoğan told Nikkei in an interview while in Japan for the G20 summit.

However, the Turkish President said Ankara would continue to collaborate with Japan in other projects, including clean coal, renewable energy, R&D work, and transportation projects.

"For this, we hope to conclude a memorandum of understanding between our institutions, which is currently being negotiated, in the shortest time possible, as it will serve as a road map for our bilateral relations in the energy field," Erdoğan said.