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ANKARA, TURKEY – In a historic development, Turkey has officially gained nuclear status as Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant received its first fuel delivery. The plant, located in the southern province of Mersin, is a joint project between Turkey and Russia and is set to become Turkey’s first operational nuclear power plant.

The delivery of the first batch of fuel marks a significant milestone for the project, which has faced delays and controversies since its inception in 2010. The fuel, which was produced in Russia, will be loaded into the first reactor of the plant, which is expected to start operations in 2023.

Speaking at the delivery ceremony, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the project as a symbol of Turkey’s technological progress and energy independence. “The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is a historic achievement for Turkey,” he said. “It will contribute significantly to our energy security and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources.”

The project, which has a total cost of $20 billion, is expected to have a total capacity of 4,800 MW once all four reactors are operational. It is also expected to create thousands of jobs and boost the local economy in Mersin.

However, the project has faced criticism and opposition from environmentalists, who have raised concerns about the safety and security of the plant. The project is located in an earthquake-prone region, and there have been concerns about the risk of a nuclear accident or a terrorist attack.

The project has also raised concerns among Turkey’s neighbors, particularly Greece and Cyprus, who have criticized Turkey’s nuclear ambitions and raised concerns about the potential impact of a nuclear accident on the region.

Despite these concerns, the Turkish government has remained committed to the project and has emphasized the importance of nuclear energy for its economic development and energy security. The completion of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is expected to pave the way for further nuclear projects in Turkey and could potentially lead to Turkey becoming a nuclear power in the future.

As Turkey joins the exclusive club of nuclear-armed nations, the international community is likely to closely monitor its nuclear activities and policies, and the implications for global security are likely to be significant.

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