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Putin and Erdogan launch construction of Turkey's first nuclear reactor

Putin and Erdogan launch construction of Turkey's first nuclear reactor”

The leaders of Turkey and Russian Federation marked the official start of work to build Turkey's first nuclear power station on Tuesday, launching construction of the $20 billion Akkuyu plant in the southern province of Mersin.

On Wednesday, they will join Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Syria. The three countries are sponsoring a series of efforts in a bid to end the seven-year war.

The construction of the facility should end in 2021.

Once completed the power station will provide 10 percent of the electricity needs of Turkey, which has few energy resources of its own.

'We are also in close cooperation with Russian Federation to end as soon as possible the terror threat and clashes in Syria, ' Erdogan said.

"As an important part of the project, the construction license process, which started almost three years ago, has been completed..."

He pointed out that the nuclear power plant would enhance Turkey's potential in science and technology and provide Turkish consumers with clean and low-priced electricity.

Turkey expects its first nuclear power station to become functional by the year 2023, but the project to build the four-unit plant with an estimated cost of $20 billion has been beset by delays.

"Companies are working on it", Putin said. At the ceremony, Putin said that the power plant project will be a symbol of the strong Turkish-Russian relationship once completed, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper.

Following speeches delivered by the two leaders, Turkish Development Minister Lutfi Elvan pressed the button to lay the foundation of the Akkuyu NPP in Turkey's southern Mersin province and implemented the agreement signed between Turkish and Russian governments back in 2010. "It has been decided by TAEK to grant a construction license for the first unit of Akkuyu NPP", the atomic energy authority said.

The project started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russian Federation on May 12, 2010.

"The Akkuyu plant will be the 56th nuclear plant constructed in the world", Erdogan said via a video teleconference held at the presidential complex in Ankara.



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