Wednesday, February 24, 2010

USAK Lecture by U.S. Ambassador Glyn Davies

What do you think about Turkey’s own nuclear power plant efforts, do you think that Turkey can survive without her own nuclear power in this geography?

There is something happening all over the world. Some people call it dramatically a nuclear renaissance; they are talking about the world going from 350 nuclear power plants to as many as a 1000 by the end of the century. Nuclear power, and president Obama spoke of this in the State of the Union categorically not very long ago, has to be part of the solution to the world’s big problems. Development, we need energy for development and there is no question about that. But then also climate change and global warming; nuclear power is for all the challenges that can come with it in terms of waste and so forth that we think are salvable. Nuclear power has to be part of the next solution here. So there is a world coming where I think what we will see is more civilian nuclear power plants that are constructive and I think Turkey ought to be part of that, and I know Turkey is looking very closely at getting into that game and I would encourage that, especially given the fact that Turkey, nobody doubts Turkey’s bona fides. This is for a very huge nation, big industrial base, you need energy and nuclear is an excellent source of so called base load energy so I would encourage the pursuit of that.

Who will enter Turkey first, the Russians or the United States?

I don’t know the Turkish scene, I apologize for that but it’s up to Turkey. It has to make sovereign decisions and some of those will be based on commercial considerations. It’s up to Turkey to decide with whom they deal and cooperate with and who they make arrangements with and make commercial purchases with. The truth is, like a lot of sophisticated technologically advanced industries, it’s become very international so it’s a little bit different to say will it be Russia or the U.S. These are big multinationals and very often these plants being built, they have components of technologies from all parts of the world. Like even a car today that is built from bits and parts from all over the world and this is tremendously similar. So I can’t predict whether it will be Russia, or America or France. It will be whoever works best for Turkey.


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