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Formal agreement with Turkey on nuclear reactors

October 30, 2013


Abe oversees Japan's 1st nuclear plant export after 2011 disaster




By KOTARO ONO/ Staff Writer

ISTANBUL--A corporate alliance led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. reached a formal agreement with the government of Turkey on Oct. 29 to construct nuclear power reactors on the Black Sea coastline.

It is the first time Japanese firms have won a formal order to build nuclear reactors since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The project involves building four reactors in the city of Sinop, northern Turkey, at an expected cost of more than $22 billion (2.1 trillion yen).

Officials from both nations signed the agreement to coincide with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Turkey. Abe and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Turkish counterpart, announced the deal during a joint news conference here, following summit talks.

Abe and Erdogan signed a joint statement that calls for closer bilateral ties in science and technology, including nuclear power generation.

"Japan has a responsibility to share the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear disaster with the rest of the world and to promote nuclear safety," Abe said at the news conference. "We will help ensure the safety of nuclear power in Turkey and other countries that decide to introduce nuclear technology by assisting in their institution-building and human resources development."

Abe has been eager to act as Japan's top salesman to export nuclear and other infrastructure technology. When he last visited Turkey in May, he confirmed with Erdogan that both countries will conclude a nuclear energy agreement, a precondition for Japan's export of nuclear technology.

The Abe administration hopes to have a Japan-Turkey nuclear energy agreement ratified during the current Diet session and to enter export procedures in earnest once the agreement has taken effect.

But it could face a backlash from public opinion because the problem of radioactive water accumulating at the stricken Fukushima plant came to public attention after the informal agreement in May.


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