A venture led by Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has signed an estimated $350,000 contract for the design of the country’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu, near Silifke, on the Mediterranean coast. The client for the proposed 1,200-MW plant is the Turkish Electricity Generating and Transmission Corporation (TEAS).

The venture includes two other South Korean firms, Hidec and HEC, and the local Gamb. Its price was well below the average $1.5 million quoted by the other bidders (MEED 13:1:95; 30:12:94).

If successful, the venture will advise on the type of reactor to be used – in Korea, KAERI uses Canadian CANDU technology. The tender phase for design and construction will take up to two years. TEAS will then be planning to award a second consultancy contract for construction supervision.

However, strong environmental objections have been lodged against the plant. One of the strongest protests was lodged by the mayors of 24 southern towns in December. They claim it will damage agriculture, industry and tourism. Environment Minister Riza Akcali subsequently pledged the plant would not be built if a proposed environmental study proved negative.

Some 35 people, including Greenpeace activists, are being tried in Ankara for an allegedly illegal demonstration against the plant outside the TEAS headquarters in November.