Turkey may end priority talks with Japan on building its second nuclear power plant by the end of this month, a move that could lead to competition for the project with other nations including France and South Korea, Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Turkey and Japan reached a basic agreement in December to build the plant and had aimed to conclude the deal within three months.
Ankara was in talks with Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) and Toshiba on building the plant on the Black Sea coast, but the talks were extended after Japan’s earthquake in March crippled Tepco’s Fukushima nuclear power plant and caused a radiation crisis.
The Yomiuri, without citing sources, said the Turkish government has told Japan it could begin talks in August with other countries, possibly France and South Korea, unless Tokyo clarifies its intention to continue negotiations by the end of this month.
A senior Japanese trade ministry official could not confirm the report.
Japanese trade minister Banri Kaieda declined to comment on negotiations but said he would send trade ministry officials to Turkey to clarify the government’s stance, Kyodo news agency reported.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said earlier this month he expected Japan to make a proposal by the end of July to clarify the road map for a planned nuclear power plant to be built in Turkey.
Yildiz had said in March after the earthquake that he hopes to complete talks with Japan on the plant before year-end.
Earlier this month Japanese Prime Minster Naoto Kan said the Fukushima crisis had convinced him that Japan should wean itself from nuclear power and eventually have no atomic plants. Kan also said last week that Japan should debate whether or not to continue promoting future exports of nuclear technology in the wake of the crisis.
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