Turkey in talks with France on nuclear plant: report
Turkey is in preliminary talks with France for the construction of a nuclear power plant but Japan has the priority, Anatolia news agency quoted Turkey's energy minister as saying on Friday.
France has expressed interest in building the plant and French energy companies Areva, EDF and GDF Suez have submitted certain proposals, Taner Yildiz said, without elaborating.
"We are evaluating this on the condition that talks with Japan have the priority," he said, according to Anatolia.
Last month, Turkey and Japan signed a memorandum on civil nuclear cooperation, a step towards a possible $20-billion (EUR15.4-billion) deal for Japanese companies to build a nuclear plant at Sinop, on Turkey's Black Sea coast.
The non-binding deal was agreed after similar negotiations with South Korea hit snags on some key terms, including the price of the electricity the plant would produce, officials said.
Earlier this week, a Turkish official confirmed that EDF had expressed interest in the project.
If the talks with Japan fail, Turkey may eventually turn to EDF but "other issues" could also be taken into consideration, the source said.
Turkish-French ties have been poisoned by France's vocal opposition to Turkey's European Union membership bid and the French parliament's recognition of Ottoman massacres of Armenians during World War I as "genocide."
Overriding opposition from environmentalists, Turkey signed a deal worth $20 billion with Russia in May to build the country's first nuclear power plant, at Akkuyu on the southern Mediterranean coast.
Ankara's objective is to have nuclear plants up and running in at least two regions in 2023.
Turkey abandoned an earlier plan to build a nuclear plant at Akkuyu in 2000 amid a severe financial crisis and protests from environmentalists.
© 2011 AFP