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Turkey is a non-nuclear-weapon state in good standing under the NPT, with a robust civilian research and development program and extensive plans to host nuclear power plants on its territory. These plans call for established nuclear reactor vendors to build and operate plants in Turkey for many years before transferring them to Turkish operators who will gain the necessary expertise and experience in the intervening period. Turkey also wants to take advantage of its foray into nuclear energy to develop its own technological capacity. So Ankara has been interested in the transfer of nuclear technology and has not ruled out an interest in developing an indigenous capability to enrich uranium. All of this reasonably fits the profile of an advancing state and society with a robust modern economy whose need for diversely supplied electricity will grow significantly. The trajectory of Turkey’s nuclear energy policies and capabilities may never divert from a purely civilian course. But, noting the security environment in which Turkey lives, and the uncertain evolution of NATO and U.S. security guarantees, Turks and some international observers naturally speculate on the possibility that someday military-security considerations could cause the trajectory of Turkey’s nuclear program to veer toward an altered line of Turkish security policy. This book begins by describing the current status and trajectory of Turkey’s civilian nuclear policy and program. In almost all countries, and in much of the international media, projections of the growth of nuclear energy prove vastly exaggerated. This is natural: proponents, including vendors, have incentives to understate the total costs of nuclear power plants and related infrastructure and the time it takes to construct them. Politicians and reporters not well-versed in the complicated realities of nuclear energy often do not know how to scrutinize such claims. The first chapter by Gürkan Kumbaroğlu offers a welcome corrective by providing a historically informed, balanced, and incisive analysis of Turkey’s burgeoning nuclear power program. Kumbaroğlu underscores the need for nuclear power by drawing attention to the high and continuing demand for electricity generated by a growing economy and a large manufacturing sector. He also analyzes the economics of the country’s first nuclear power plant to be built by Rosatom in Akkuyu on Turkey’s

Profile for Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Turkey's Nuclear Future  

There has been remarkably little informed analysis and debate on Turkey’s nuclear future, either within the country or in broader internatio...

Turkey's Nuclear Future  

There has been remarkably little informed analysis and debate on Turkey’s nuclear future, either within the country or in broader internatio...

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