Türkiye has realized its 60-year-old dream by delivering nuclear fuel to the country’s first Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in the southern province of Mersin on April 27, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, explaining to the youth the long and difficult journey of becoming a country enjoying the world’s leading nuclear energy technology.
In a message he released through his social media account, Erdoğan has drawn the attention of young people to the importance of the delivery of fuel to the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which was marked through a ceremony with the online participation of Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The plant has gained the status of a nuclear facility on April 27, Erdoğan said, underlining that the entire country is feeling proud of this achievement.
“But why [it took] 60 years? Let me tell you this. Türkiye’s journey towards nuclear energy was started by late [Prime Minister Adnan] Menderes in 1956. But just like other initiative for the development of Türkiye, this had been interrupted by the military coup in 1960,” Erdoğan said.
Türkiye’s next attempt to build a nuclear power plant with the cooperation of a European country failed because the government at that time could not find $100 million, the president said.
Türkiye has not only wasted time but also billions of dollars because of this delay, Erdoğan said, adding, “More importantly, a big opportunity in terms of energy security and independence had been wasted. We changed this destiny by the agreement we signed in 2010,” referring to the deal between Türkiye and Russia.
“When the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant starts to operate with full capacity, it will meet 10 percent of our country’s electricity need by generating 35 billion kWh. It will also meet our country’s need for skilled personnel in the field of nuclear energy,” he suggested.
The president noted that it will be the youth of this country who will benefit the most from the gains of this nuclear plant, saying, “We love and trust you. We see you as the architects of our bright future. We will continue to work for the creation of the Century of Türkiye for you.”