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Turkey announces tender for first nuclear power plant

ANKARA, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey announced a tender on Monday for the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant, to be built near Akkuyu Bay on the Mediterranean coast.

"We are officially launching a tender. I hope we will assess the bids here in six months," said Hilmi Guler, the Turkish energy minister.

Bids will be accepted from local and foreign companies as well as joint ventures until September 24, 2008.

Turkish authorities planned to build a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu in 2000, but the plans were canceled due to financial problems and protests from environmentalists who said the plant would be located in a seismically unstable area.

Last November, the country enforced a law on building and running nuclear power plants. Under it, potential builders will hold legal responsibility for transporting radioactive materials and waste, as well as for any mishaps caused by negligence.

Turkey plans to build three nuclear power plants at a cost of $7-8 billion by 2016. They will have an aggregate capacity of around 5,000MW and are expected to use pressurized heavy water reactors.

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