Turkey scraps nuclear power tender

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Thursday November 26, 2009

Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran is another project of Russia's AtomStroyExport which was selected for the Turkey plant. US Department of State

Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran is another project of Russia's AtomStroyExport which was selected for the Turkey plant . Global Security

Turkish officials moved on November 20 to cancel a 2008 tender for the construction of four nuclear reactors, but said they were determined to build the reactors after another tender is announced, Turkish and international media reported.

The scrapped tender had been won by a Russian-Turkish consortium that had submitted the only bid after 12 other companies refused to take part, complaining about proposed regulations.

Commentators had seen the decision to grant Russia's Atomstroyexport the Akkuyu project, estimated to be worth $20 billion, as another reflection of Turkey's distancing from the West. Taylan Bilgic of Hurriyet this week termed the yearlong process a "radioactive waltz."

Turkey already relies on Russia for 70 percent of its natural gas imports, and in 2008 Russia emerged as Turkey's biggest foreign trade partner.

Turkey previously scrapped the Akkuyu tender after the Clinton administration halted ratification of a July 2000 bilateral agreement on nuclear-energy cooperation, citing nuclear proliferation concerns.

Shortly before the latest tender, the Bush administration made a determination that Turkey had satisfied these concerns. The U.S.-Turkey agreement came into force in June 2008 and was expected to give U.S. companies an advantage in the tender.

 

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