The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has approved a TL 36 million ($9.72 million) education and training project as part of its nuclear support program. Under the project, nuclear technology education and training will be provided to Turkish companies. The government hopes this will open the gates for local companies to become part of its current and future nuclear projects worth almost $60 billion.
To that end, it has signed a training agreement with Russia's state-controlled nuclear corporation, Rosatom, which is currently building Turkey's first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. It has also established a nuclear training center at the Sincan Organized Industrial Zone (OIZ).
Local manufacturers, working together with Rosatom to produce different parts for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), will receive training at the center. The program will cover key areas like personnel training, quality, control certificates and radiation protection.
Ankara has prioritized nuclear power investments for state subsidies and foresees investments worth $60 billion in its three future nuclear power plants in Mersin, Sinop, and Tekirdağ. It will also speed up the expropriation process for the Akkuyu NPP's transmission infrastructure.
Local firms are set to have an active role in both material production and supervision of Turkey's nuclear power plants. Companies participating in training programs in France, Russia, and Japan will also receive an authorization certificate from the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority in order to become a nuclear construction supervision institution.
60 domestic firms eye nuclear projectsAs part of the training project, so far 60 local companies have expressed their interest work on nuclear power plants. The authorities are hoping that the project will also give the Turkey's organized industrial zones, particularly the Middle East Industry and Trade Center (OSTİM) in Ankara, the capability to manufacture all the necessary components of a nuclear power plant.
In that context, Turkey has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia, Czech Republic, and France. The program would also eliminate any shortcomings in the quality management system, under the ISO 9000 standards.
Energy Ministry leads the wayThe Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, in cooperation with the Istanbul, Kocaeli, Ankara and Adana Chambers of Industries, is spearheading the project to train personnel and boost the local supply of materials.
It is setting up a nuclear simulation center at the training complex in Sincan. It has also recommended that nuclear energy education be included in Turkey's high school curriculum.
Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) Chairman Nurettin Özdebir said that Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak has been handling the nuclear issue very professionally and added that his ministry has assumed an important role in driving these projects.
"We have already signed an agreement with Rosatom. Their experts visited Turkey, saw our facilities and conducted a need analysis. We are now working on a training center. There Russian and local experts we will train companies that will produce different components for nuclear power plants," Özdebir said.
"The training project will accept any local company interested in the technology. Currently, there are 150 ongoing nuclear power plants projects in the world. So, there is a need for sub-industry and suppliers. Turkish companies can work in that respect. Given our technological capabilities, I think Turkish firms can easily be very successful," he said.