Turkey: Saying Goodbye To Nuclear Power? We Don’t Think So!

Debate in Turkey with respect to utilizing nuclear energy is heating up, as the adverse consequences of the Japanese earthquake on the forty-year-old Fukushima power plant continue to unfold. Talk of a large-scale nuclear disaster triggered fear in Turkish society – among the Chernobyl-victim countries – amplifying the voices of opposition to nuclear energy within Turkey, which were in turn augmented by the popular U-turn of various European countries on nuclear energy.

The Turkish government is nevertheless maintaining a firm stance against objections, with the Prime Minister confirming the official policy of proceeding with Turkey's long-range plan to establish and operate a nuclear power plant (an "NPP"), first formulated in the early 1960s. Although several nuclear power tenders have been held, none have been successfully finalized. In order to overcome shortcomings under current legislation, the Turkish government has revamped its strategy on nuclear energy by adopting a case-specific approach for establishing NPPs, and has chosen to proceed with the establishment and operation of NPPs through the medium of "intergovernmental agreements" ("IGAs").

Accordingly, the governments of the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation entered into an IGA for cooperation in the construction and operation of an NPP in the Akkuyu district of Mersin – a city on Turkey's Mediterranean coast – that was published on 6 October 2010. This IGA constitutes the legal basis for the establishment and operation of the first NPP in Turkey, and regulates various matters in detail, such as the permitting and licensing mechanisms, periods of construction and operation, terms of the power purchase agreement to be entered into by and between the project company (to be entirely owned by the Russian state nuclear energy company, Rosatom) and Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company ("TETAŞ") (acting on behalf of the state as the purchaser of the electricity generated by the NPP), site allocation, insurance requirements, waste management and decommissioning activities.

Apart from the entry into force of the IGA, the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority ("TAEK"), the main regulatory authority responsible for supervising and licensing NPPs (i.e. site license, construction license and operation license), further focused on the preparation of secondary legislation. In this respect, very recently, three draft regulations were published on TAEK's official website:

  • Draft Regulation on Radioactive Waste Management (Radyoaktif Atık Yönetimi Yönetmeliği Taslağı): This regulates the general terms and principles for managing radioactive waste that is generated during utilization of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation sources in a safe way. The potential cross-border effects on human life and the environment will also be taken into consideration in waste management. As per the draft, necessary security measures must be adopted to hold radioactive waste to a minimum, and at reasonable levels in terms of volume and activity. However, such measures will be determined based on the specific classification of the respective radioactive waste (e.g. short-life wastes, mid-level wastes). The draft further introduces the requirements to be complied with by radioactive waste facilities, including provisions with respect to certification, physical measures and safety principles.
  • Draft Regulation on Physical Protection of Nuclear Facilities and Nuclear Substance (Nükleer Tesislerin ve Nükleer Maddelerin Fiziksel Korunması ve Yönetmelik Taslağı): This regulation mainly emphasizes physical security measures to be adopted for the physical protection of the nuclear facilities, as well as the nuclear substances that may be kept, used, stored or transported to or from the facilities against the risks of sabotage and theft. Accordingly, all nuclear facilities must be designed on the basis of the requirements of physical protection with respect to nuclear safety, and all related parties must strictly adhere to nuclear safety policies at every step of the activities conducted. As a general principle, license-holders will be liable for maintaining physical safety during performance of the licensed activities. Prior to the commencement of any activities, the license-holder is obliged to prepare a confidential physical safety plan and submit it to TAEK. Following TAEK's approval, the license-holder will be required to implement the physical protection system in accordance with the approved plan, and to confirm the effectiveness thereof. Another measure will be to establish a central alarm station (merkezi alarm istasyonu) with limited party access within the facility for the purpose of constant review of data from detectors, cameras and alarm equipment.
  • Draft Regulation on Protection of Subcontractor Employees from Ionizing Radiation (Harici Görevlilerin İyonlaştırıcı Radyasyoondan Korunmasına Dair Yönetmelik): The regulation provides for the imposition of preventive safety measures on license-holders with respect to the employment of subcontractor/third-party employees in certain sections of the NPP emitting radiation above the minimum emission dosage limits. Such measures include, among others, medical reports, use of certain types of dosimeters, preliminary workload planning for the respective employees, and regular recording requirements.

While a big question mark still looms over the sustainability of nuclear energy as an energy source with all of the risks involved, Turkey is continuing with its plan to promote nuclear power plant investment with an undertaking to its public to ensure that the maximum safety standards are maintained. As per the IGA's entry into force, and following the legal framework to be implemented in line with the entry into force of the foregoing regulations, we believe that the stage will be set for establishing future NPPs. It is also noteworthy that negotiations are underway with certain governments with respect to the construction and operation of a second NPP in Sinop, in northern Turkey, and possibly a third one in the Thrace region, in northwestern Turkey. Given the energy demand forecasts for Turkey, nuclear energy seems to remain as one of the prioritized sources of energy. Yet, one cannot help but wonder about the upcoming elections in Turkey in June 2011, and how the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel – who reversed the gradual exit mechanism set forth by her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder – made an abrupt 180-degree turnaround upon seeing the results of elections in various states in Germany.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions