1/21/2008

Turkey considers to join US-led nuclear group

Turkish Daily News - Turkey said it is considering becoming a full member to the United States-led Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), a new initiative to develop worldwide consensus on enabling expanded use of economical, carbon-free nuclear energy to meet growing electricity demand. “We are not negative on that. But we endorse remaining as an active observer for some more time,” Energy Minister Hilmi Guler told reporters in Istanbul. Turkey will probably join the GNEP this year in September by signing the Statement of Principles, a non-binding document that includes the doctrine of the 19-member group. GNEP was established last year in September as a part of U.S. President George W. Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative. Guler participated in the first ministerial meeting of the GNEP in Vienna and continued to talk about Turkey's participation during his recent meeting with his U.S. counterpart Samuel Bodman in Washington. In September, Bodman officially invited Turkey to join the club with a letter, saying all other 19 countries including Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan were also welcoming its membership, the Turkish Daily News has learned. In response, Guler said they needed to talk more on the issue and asked Bodman to send a high level team to Ankara. The Turkish government will launch a tender next month to build its first nuclear plant. “The U.S. strongly supports Turkey to acquire safe and secure nuclear energy,” he said.

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