Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a directive requested from relevant public institutions to immediately complete the works needed for the ongoing nuclear power plant projects in Turkey, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

The directive said public institutions should speed up nuclear power plant projects so as to make sure that the increase in demand could be met and dependency on imports could be lowered.

Turkey’s first nuclear plant has been built in the southern coastal area of Akkuyu as a joint Russian-Turkish project with Russian energy company Rosatom. Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin kicked off the construction of the plant on Apr. 3 amid concerns about the potentially destructive ecological consequences of the plant.

Reports on the Akkuyu plant’s construction have raised serious fears since it began in 2018, with news in May of fissures opening in the foundations twice followed by a report in left-wing daily BirGün in July raising concerns about the location of the site and suggesting that the contractors involved did not have sufficient experience of a project of its type.

Erdogan said that Turkey’s second nuclear power plant project, which had been slated for construction in Black Sea province of Sinop under a Japanese-French partnership, was set to be terminated, in an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei in June.

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