Nuclear Energy Debate in Turkey: Stakeholders, Policy Alternatives, and Governance Issues – Energy Policy – article

Nuclear Energy Debate in Turkey: Stakeholders, Policy Alternatives, and Governance Issues

Cem İskender Aydın | Energy Policy

2019-10-22

For the last six decades, Turkish governments have been advocating the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) on the grounds that it is necessary for the development of the country, that the country needs nuclear energy for economic growth, and more importantly, that an NPP would mark a milestone in Turkey’s journey of modernisation. However, national and local opposition has also existed from the beginning on. The first attempts to build an NPP in late 1970s were met with an immediate reaction from the civil society, concerned about potential problems such as NPP’s impact on environment and health, waste management, and risk of nuclear accidents, giving rise to a long-standing conflict that is yet to be settled. In order to better understand Turkey’s previous and current motivations to build a nuclear power plant, this study will first recount the country’s history of nuclear power followed by a discourse analysis using a multidimensional environmental justice framework, which will investigate different stakeholders’ views and perceptions, and the alternative policies proposed by them. The discourse analysis built on the historical narrative is helpful in identifying sources of conflicts between stakeholders, and in presenting these conflicts in a transparent and comprehensible manner.

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