Assessing Turkeys Capacity to Effectively Secure Its Nuclear Infrastructure



Turkey is moving forward with its ambition to switch to nuclear energy, the latest of which is the approval of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant’s (NPP) environmental impact assessment, which has paved the way for the construction of the facility. Still, nuclear energy comes with risks as well as opportunities, and the country lacks a solid framework for providing security to its prospective nuclear infrastructure and its affiliated operations.

Accidents, sabotage, terrorist attacks, and unexpected disruptions to operations all result in human, economic, commercial, and political costs, as well as a loss of prestige. These chains of events may result in the degrading of a country’s credit score and may lower the appeal of the host country in the eyes of others, no matter how strategic its location and how rich its energy resources are. Therefore the security and safety of critical electricity infrastructure (CEI), and especially nuclear power plants, is as important as the security of energy supply and demand as it can impact both aspects directly. In order to secure its nuclear facilities adequately, Turkey needs to enact a multilayered and holistic framework for the protection of both CEI in general and NPPs specifically.

Treating Akkuyu as a case study, this work aims to assess possible threats to Turkey’s nuclear infrastructure and analyze the currently established legal and regulatory framework, as well as response capabilities for the protection of this critical asset. To this end, the study will first analyze the internationally established frameworks for the physical security of the critical energy infrastructure (CEI), then appraise Turkey’s policies on critical and nuclear infrastructure security before concluding with recommendations to enhance the existing framework.

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