ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Mitsubishi is interested in building nuclear plants in Turkey but dismisses the possibility of leaving operation of such plants to locals lacking know-how, a top executive says
This photo shows Japan’s Ikata nuclear power plant, one of the world’s most seismologically risky plants, built by Mitsubishi. ‘We can build and operate nuclear power plants in Turkey with France’s Areva, as we did in the United States,’ Arihara says. AP photo
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has expressed interest in bidding for Turkey’s nuclear power plant projects but dismissed the option of working with a Turkish operator due to lack of nuclear know-how.
“Operating a nuclear plant could not be left in the hands of the countries that lack the nuclear technology and know-how, such as most of the Middle Eastern countries including Turkey,” Masahiko Arihara, senior vice president of MHI, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, after signing a distributorship agreement with Form Companies Group, a Turkish leader in the sector of air conditioning and renewable energy. “If Turkey would like a plant generating 1 million kilowatt-hours, we can do that,” he said.
Arihara said due to security measures the operation of a nuclear plant should be carried out by professional companies with extensive knowledge and experience in nuclear power technology.
“We are interested in taking part in the nuclear projects of the country,” he said, adding that Mitsubishi built 25 of the 50 nuclear power plants in Japan. “Mitsubishi has the power and the capability to construct nuclear stations in Turkey.”
Negotiations on nuclear
Turkey has recently been negotiating with several countries including Finland to operate its second nuclear power station to be built in the Black Sea province of Sinop. After Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) withdrew its bid to run the nuclear plant, Mitsubishi became interested in building power plants in Turkey, Ariahara said. “Because almost 100 percent of the nuclear plants that TEPCO runs use boiling water technology, a type of light water nuclear reactor used for the generation of electrical power, our technology does not match with TEPCO’s one.”
MHI might build and operate nuclear plants in Turkey with French operator company Areva, said Arihara. MHI and French nuclear giant in 2009 agreed to start a new joint venture called ATMEA to build and operate nuclear power plants in the United States. “A similar model can well be used in Turkey,” he said. He also noted that the current negotiations between Japanese and Turkish officials continued on the issue.
MHI investments in the US
The joint venture will produce nuclear fuel for advanced pressurized water reactors (APWR) to be sold by MHI in the U.S. Japanese Kansai Electric Power might also be among the candidates for the Sinop plant, according to the executive.
The Japanese operator of the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant decided to withdraw from Japan’s bid to join Turkey’s second nuclear plant on Aug. 4.
Turkey agreed with Russian RASOTOM to build the first nuclear plant in the northern province of Mersin, and the government plans to build nuclear plants in Sinop and İgneada.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011