Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nuclear Power Plant in Northern Cyprus

Dear Colleagues,

Should we consider a serious decision whether to invest in a Nuclear Power Plant at Northern Cyprus?” We can ask if Turkey has technological capacity to construct and operate a Nuclear Power Plant? Turkey has that technological and commercial capability.

As a matter of fact Turkish intellectual capacity is always underestimated/ undervalued.

However we all know that Turkish university graduates are not less qualified that their counterparts in the leading industrial nations nor less than leading US or European graduates of their elite universities.

Turkish scientific and technical capabilities are of high quality since we know that there are many high profile posts already occupied by Turkish University graduates, not to mention only in nuclear power field but also in other technical expertise.

We can also expect that METU Northern Cyprus campus can be a good opportunity to support and initiate the nuclear facilities in the North.

There is almost no fossil fuel resources, no oil no gas, no coal in the Northern Cyprus. Hence all fossil fuel should be purchased abroad and to be transported by sea ferries to the power plant.

On the other hand as in the all Mediterranean sea coasts, there is a high potential of wind energy resources so that energy can also be utilized a renewable green alternative.

We should also evaluate what sort of prestige we may expect from a Nuclear Power Plant in Northern Cyprus.

The level of development in your own country in Nuclear technology will obviously warn other parties that you are no longer at the vulnerable developing stage but in the high tech league. That has also a deterrence factor for the rival parties to think twice for any action they take against yourselves.

Let us evaluate why we should consider to construct a Nuclear Power Plant in the Northern Cyprus. We can consider because it is within the economic/ financial capacity range. Necessary capacity is medium size, feasible/ easy to finance. Northern Cyprus does not need big amount of electricity generating power plants.

We are now in the 4th generation nuclear technology with maximized security and minimized waste. So for Northern Cyprus, nuclear technology is within reach of reasonable local financing. There is availability of various technologies, small/ medium and reasonable size between 50-100 MWe.

Nuclear power plants are basically a kind of improved thermal power plants. There is one cycle more. You have to employ high safety measures, and solve waste problem.

There are news that Russia has even plans to sell/ export many 50 MWe capacity nuclear power plants on offshore barges.

We may ask the further advantages of a nuclear power plant in energy security. It is good test to train your people on nuclear technology, on nuclear safety, on nuclear awareness.

By being an anti- nuclear activist, you cannot learn details of the technology. You learn by doing as elsewhere as always.

We should also appreciate that nuclear technology is a very dear, very precious, very expensive issue. It is not free of charge. It is not even possible to get only with bare money as in the case of thermal power generation.

You can only get it through your own hard work by employing your young talents with their latest scientific and intellectual capability on a long tedious journey with blood, sweet and tears.

It is also a matter of survival of the fittest in the region.

When we come to evaluate the cost factor, in base monetary terms for a nuclear power plant within range of 50 to 100 MWe, you should pay at least 2000 to 2500 USD per kW power generation if you purchase direct from abroad plus together with concessions you pay on your foreign policies.

Construction period varies between 10-20 years depending on finance, technology chosen and other unforeseeable parameters. Anyhow you should start from somewhere.

If you do not wish to give any concession in your foreign policy, then you should depend on your own talent at a lower and independent cost. You can only get it through your own hard work by employing your young talents with their latest scientific and intellectual capability.

Hence we also need to learn the incentives legislation of European Union on renewable as well as nuclear energy, although we need some time 20-50 years to join EU at this pace. Anyhow information on EU's incentive legislations will help to spread the design application at our end.

However our main problem in Ankara is country’s low quantity of electricity generation. Overall in Turkey, electricity generation and obviously the average consumption is approximately less than 2000 kwh per person per year, whereby in Europe (also in UK and Austria) that figure is around 8,000 to 9,000.

Therefore Turkey (and Northern Cyprus) needs more power plants to generate more electricity, provided that the power plants are evenly distributed as thermal, renewable hydro, wind, solar, and also nuclear.

However we all agree that increased energy efficiency is the most cost effective and environmentally benign energy option and should be implemented first.

The world has a lot of coal, but right now carbon capture and sequestration is not commercially viable. Natural gas has national security implications and does emit CO2.

“If one side in a conflict goes nuclear, the other is bound to follow suit” says David Hirst, Tuesday April 4,2006 The Guardian


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