​Why does Turkey's nuclear energy bother the EU? - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

​Why does Turkey's nuclear energy bother the EU?

An interesting request draws attention in the recent European Parliament (EP) report which proposes to suspend negotiations with Turkey. It requests Turkey to renounce the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project due to the safety of the plant.

Apparently, regardless of whether it is the European Union (EU) or the EP, their prejudiced political attitude toward Turkey continues today as it has in the past.

In the past, they had requested "things that should be done" on many subjects. Now, however, it is the exact opposite and they want the nuclear power plant project to be stopped. Apparently, the EU is perturbed by the fact that Turkey is seeking to be a central country in energy, initiating natural gas pipeline projects to ensure its energy diversity and taking advantage of its geographical position.

Since Turkey started the Turkish Stream project with Russia, the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project with Azerbaijan and ongoing large projects with other countries in the region, in view of ensuring supply security, the EU's prejudiced attitude has further escalated, and it even regards Turkey’s energy projects as a danger to itself.

This is because Turkey has a prominent presence in the east and Eastern Mediterranean as well as in the Caspian region thanks to energy. In other words, Turkey is mentioned wherever there are energy resources. Therefore, Turkey is a bridge, a hub and a key to energy between the countries which have energy resources and the countries which use them.

The EU argues that the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project is a threat and danger to the Mediterranean region, citing the risk of earthquakes, in order to prevent Turkey’s position and the places it could reach. The EU refers to the Mediterranean, because it will only be possible to carry the natural gas in the Mediterranean to EU markets via Turkey.

In addition, Turkey is one of the owners of gas in this region.

EU’s nuclear power plants

Well, what about nuclear power plants in EU countries that want Turkey to stop its nuclear power plant project? How many nuclear reactors are there in those EU countries, who object to Turkey’s switch to nuclear energy and its nuclear energy projects, while the country does not have a nuclear reactor and is just trying to be present in this area? 

Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, the Netherlands, the U.K., Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania have nuclear reactors. In other words, half of the EU is using nuclear energy.

There are 444 nuclear reactors operating in 31 countries around the world. About 130 of these are in EU countries.

France is the country with the most nuclear reactors in the EU. It has 58 nuclear reactors and supplies 77 percent of its electricity using nuclear energy. Sweden, which has 10 nuclear reactors, supplies 41 percent of its electricity with nuclear power. In Belgium, the number of nuclear reactors is 7, and 47 percent of electricity is generated by nuclear reactors.

On the other hand, the U.K., which is in the process of seceding from the EU, has 15 reactors. While it supplies 17 percent of electricity with nuclear energy, Germany has 8 nuclear reactors and provides 16 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants.

There are nearly 130 nuclear reactors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria and many other EU countries. About half of the electricity in these Eastern European countries is provided by nuclear reactors.

What is the situation in Turkey, while the nuclear reactor report cards of the EU countries are quite satisfactory? How many nuclear reactors does Turkey have? Not one.

There is no problem when EU countries build nuclear power plants and generate electricity. However, as Turkey moves ahead with the nuclear power plant project, they are discussing this issue on an international basis for unjustifiable reasons and proposing it as a condition in EU negotiations hence creating obstacles in regards to economic and political relations.

Such a double standard is intolerable.

The world gathers in Istanbul for oil summit

Despite all this, Turkey moves forward without any postponement in topics on its energy agenda. The 22nd World Petroleum Congress is taking place in Istanbul for the first time from July 9 to July 13, 2017.

The congress to be held in Turkey, for the first time, is under the tutelage of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The heads of energy companies in the world, leading companies in the industry, energy ministers and heads of states will be in Istanbul for this summit.

Turkey’s becoming a central country for energy in recent years is one of the features being emphasized in the conference. The main motto of the conference is "Key country of energy.” With all energy doors gathering in Istanbul, Turkey stands out with its principle of "the key country of energy," and will lead the world energy, especially oil and natural gas.

As these steps are taken to make "Turkey an energy and trade hub," which we often speak about, Turkey will not only ensure its own energy supply’s security, but also bring the energy supply security of EU countries to a key point.

They will later comprehend that what they want to sabotage and jeopardize is their own energy supply security.



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