Nuclear energy will play a key role in the green transformation process in Turkiye

Turkiye will commission its first nuclear reactor next year. Stating that Turkiye will continue to make great moves in the field of renewable energy, experts are of the opinion that green transformation without nuclear is not possible.

Evaluating the goals of Turkiye, which plans to commission its first nuclear reactor next year, in this field, Oguzhan Akyener, President of the Turkish Energy Strategies and Policies Research Center (TESPAM), stated that nuclear power plants are advantageous compared to other sources.

Akyener pointed out that the energy demand in the country will gradually increase and said that with the spread of electric vehicles, nuclear energy will play an important role in meeting the energy demand.

Pointing out that households with 1 unit of electricity consumption can increase their consumption to 4 units with the use of electric vehicles, Akyener said, “This means that the demand for electricity will increase very seriously. The rising energy demand cannot be met only by solar power plants (SPP) or wind power plants (RES) since the capacity factor is low.”

Akyener said, “Turkiye will continue to make great moves in the field of renewable energy, but green transformation without nuclear is not possible. Nuclear power plants can provide electricity to meet the uninterrupted base load need. For this reason, it is necessary to invest heavily in nuclear energy. Turkiye will not compromise on its growth targets. The country has a serious energy hunger. Nuclear is a must to control our energy hunger.”

“Micronuclear can replace the sun”

Emphasizing that Turkiye has great potential in renewable energy, Akyener stated that support is received from storage technologies to increase the efficiency of these resources.

Akyener pointed out that there is intense interest in storage technologies and said, “There has been a great demand for the establishment of solar power plants and RES with storage in Turkiye. Of course, you will benefit from this, but when you look at long-term projections, storage also has a limit.”

Stating that the capacity factor of the sun remains low despite storage, Akyener said that at this stage, small modular reactors with an installed power of up to 300 megawatts and micro reactors with a power below 10 megawatts can be preferred.

Akyener used the following statements:

“Turkiye aims to be a country that exports renewable technology. In this context, Turkiye needs to invest a lot in offshore wind turbines and turbine technologies, but more importantly, it needs to invest in small modular nuclear and micro nuclear reactors, and capabilities in this field need to be further developed. Especially when costs in micro reactors decrease, solar may be completely replaced by micro nuclear. If these can be resolved, Turkiye will have made significant progress in terms of carbon intensity.”

Construction continues on Turkiye’s first nuclear power plant

Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NGS), which is under construction in Mersin and is Turkiye’s first nuclear power plant, will be able to meet 10% of Turkiye’s electricity demand alone by producing approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually when it comes into operation at full capacity. The first unit of the power plant, which will consist of a total of 4 units and have an installed power of 4 thousand 800 megawatts, is expected to be commissioned on October 29, 2024.

After Akkuyu NPP, nuclear power plants are planned in Sinop and Thrace.

Nuclear energy plays an important role in achieving Turkiye’s carbon neutral target by 2053. In this context, studies on the licensing and technological development process for small modular reactors and micro nuclear reactors, which come into operation faster and at lower cost than large-scale power plants, are also carried out.

Within the framework of the National Energy Plan, it is aimed to add 7.2 gigawatts of nuclear energy capacity to the energy portfolio by 2035 and more than 20 gigawatts by the end of 2050.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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