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#229May 2020

Turkey Needs Peaceful Atom

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In late April, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the state of Russia–Turkey cooperation, primarily in trade and commerce, including joint projects in nuclear energy and wider collaboration in agriculture and transportation. The presidents agreed to maintain regular contacts at different levels.

Construction work at Akkuyu, the first nuclear power plant in Turkey, is on schedule. Necessary measures are taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection on the construction site.

But construction is not the only work, in which Rosatom is involved. The Russian nuclear corporation assists in training employees for the nuclear power plant under construction and participates in local social projects. In late April, Akkuyu Nükleer donated USD50,000 to the school in the town of Büyükeceli on the occasion of the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. The grant will be spent on infrastructure modernization.

Alexey Frolov, Managing Director for GR and International Cooperation at Akkuyu Nükleer, brought the gift certificate to the school. He visited the educational institution and met with its principal Salih Karaca to congratulate the school on the holiday and handed over the certificate. All necessary safety measures were taken during the visit: participants of the meeting wore masks and kept their social distance. Alexey Frolov highlighted the following:

“Children are the key asset of any nation. We live and work for them. We know that the education process continues remotely even in the pandemic while the children are still passionate and do not lose their interest in gaining knowledge. Special thanks to the teachers for that! I am sure that when the quarantine is over and life goes back to normal, the kids will be happy to return to school. And when this day comes, I hope our donation to the Büyükeceli school will be very useful — ​let the children have everything they need, and most importantly, health and a happy childhood.”

Salih Karaca thanked Alexey Frolov for his kind words, as well as Rosatom and Akkuyu Nükleer for the opportunity to make the school more comfortable for the children. According to Salih Karaca, the funds received will be used to repair utility lines in the buildings, purchase sports equipment and equip the school canteen, which did not exist in the school before.

“On behalf of the entire school staff, pupils and from me personally I would like to thank Akkuyu Nükleer and Rosatom State Corporation. Your donation will help us to do many important things like building a canteen, which we could not afford until now. I am sure that all children studying at our school will soon gather in a new spacious and bright canteen!” Salih Karaca stressed.

The National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, a significant, benign and appealing holiday has been celebrated for more than ninety years in the Republic of Turkey. Anastasia Zoteeva, CEO of Akkuyu Nükleer, delivered her personal congratulation on this day:

“The National Sovereignty and Children’s Day combines the two most important values of a strong state — ​sovereignty and its young generation. Children are indeed the future and the foundation of any nation. In Turkey, this holiday has always been celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion.

We also understand that we must provide our children with a decent future. This is a reason why we are building the first nuclear power plant in the Republic of Turkey. New technologies and clean electric energy will underlie prosperity of a strong country, which will be developed by those who go to the kindergarten and sit at their school desks now — ​our children! We must do the utmost for them to live and study in decent conditions.”

Many experts stress the need for developing nuclear generation as it is a clean, carbon-free source of electric power.

Gökhan Çorak from the Pennsylvania State University commented in an interview to Ihlas Haber Ajansı on the importance of energy mix for the goal of fighting climate change. He noted that the average temperature had increased by 1.0 °C globally since the pre-industrial age and by more than 1.5 °C in Turkey. “With the global temperature rising and climate changing, Turkey is exposed to a growing risk of drought and desertification. Nuclear energy offers great potential in terms of preventing climate change. As compared to other sources of energy, nuclear is much cleaner as it produces almost zero emissions,” Gökhan Çorak explains. He reminded that a single 6-gram uranium pellet is comparable, in terms of energy it contains, to one metric ton of coal, 450 liters of crude oil or 480 cubic meters of natural gas. “At present, 30 countries operate 442 nuclear power units — ​they generate 10 % of electric power consumed globally and, apart from that, are environmentally friendly. Turkey does not lag behind the rest of the world and is building its nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. When the outbreak of the COVID‑19 pandemic ends, Turkey will need to ramp up other nuclear power plant projects. If we care for our future, we have no other choice,” Gökhan Çorak says.