Energy Minister Taner Yildiz denied Turkey had any interest in enriching uranium through the nuclear deal with Japan, claiming a demand for uranium enrichment allowance was only aimed at learning about the nuclear fuel production process.
“We don’t have any project regarding nuclear fuel and [uranium] enrichment,” Yildiz told a group of reporters on a plane flying from Japan to Singapore on Jan. 8, Anadolu Agency reported.
“There are three or four stages regarding nuclear fuel process and being involved in any of those stages or Turkey’s desire to be involved in them should not be perceived as nuclear fuel enrichment,” he said. “Enrichment is a different matter.”
Ankara reportedly demanded allowance for uranium enrichment and plutonium extraction within the framework of a $22 billion nuclear power plant and technology export deal inked with Tokyo, a Japanese daily reported Jan. 8, quoting a Japanese Foreign Ministry official as saying.
The clause at issue allows Turkey to enrich uranium and extract plutonium, potentially creating nuclear material for weapons, according to the report.