A three-day Journalism Workshop titled ‘The challenge of reporting on nuclear energy in times of a changing climate’ was organized by the New Nuclear Watch Institute (NNWI), a London-based internationally focused think-tank, the Nuclear Industry Association of Turkey (NIATR), a leading global nuclear business consortium, and a Sustainable Enerji Projeler, a dynamic and forward-thinking company specializing in sustainable energy solutions.
The aim of the workshop was to equip a group of 25 journalists from Central Asia and the Middle East with advanced skills and industry exposure required in the field of energy journalism and provide an opportunity to visit the solar and wind power plants in-person, as well as provide detailed information about the nuclear power plant and the construction process.
Workshop 1 - Unveiling the facts about clean energy sources
First workshop was led by Keith Everhart, Energy Analyst – Renewables Integration and Secure Electricity at the International Energy Agency (IEA). His session focused on the technical and economic aspects of various types of clean energy sources and their interactaction in future low-carbon energy systems.
Mr Everhart believes that the most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to introduce solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants, as well as develop nuclear generation, the most cost-effective tool of low-carbon technology.
Workshop 2 - Energy investment and growth
Second workshop was led by Daniel Dean, Chairman of the The International Bank for Nuclear Infrastructure. His session focused on the correlations between energy investments and economic development and stimulation of growth, job creation and improved quality of life. The session looked at economic multipliers and also attainment of Sustainable Development Goals within the context of low-carbon energy systems and low-carbon economies.
"It is generally accepted that nuclear power is the most sustainable form of energy production, which shows very high power factors, often reaching 90% and above. In every country, to reduce greenhouse emissions, it is necessary to diversify the energy sector. And forms of energy supply such as hydrogen and desalinated water are of great importance today. Therefore, nuclear technology is becoming a universal solution capable of providing various types of energy,” Mr Dean noted.
Workshop 3 - Сurrent trends in energy geopolitics
Third workshop session was led by Dr Vadim Malkin, Managing Partner, Transitional Markets Consultancy (LLP) Ltd. The workshop delved into energy geopolitics, covering truths, myths, and dependency concepts. It analyzed geopolitical risks economically, including switching costs and supply risks across energy sources. It differentiated security and safety as risk sources, emphasizing risk management. Additionally, the session explored innovative energy solutions (including SMRs).
"Regarding renewable energy sources, there is a relative dependence on weather conditions and a low power factor. But nuclear power has relatively low switching costs, but a certain degree of so-called route dependence. Therefore, it is more economical to use technology that has already been implemented,” explained Mr Malkin.
Workshop 4 - Energy journalism and the sustainability agenda
Last workshop was led by Gül Göktepe, Director of the Executive Board at the NUTEK Energy. Her workshop session focused on nuclear energy and public concern including the role of the media in managing perceptions. It also discussed current trends in nuclear energy policies, benefits of nuclear and risk concerns.
Mrs Göktepe advised journalists to always double-check information, contact experts in the field of nuclear energy, trust science and conduct their own investigations.
On 14 December, workshop participants first visited the Elmalı RES Projesi Wind Power Plant located near the town of Silifke, about 180 km from Mersin.
According to local engineers, the power plant operates 24 hours a day and is maintained by eight people. Currently, there are three turbines with a total capacity of 9 megawatts in operation. The cost of one turbine is $3.5 million.
Following the visit to Wind Power Plant, workshop participants visited a new Bakırlar Güneş Enerjisi Santrali Solar Power Plant located in the nearby area, where 6,272 panels were installed on its four-hectare site. A representative of the management company said that with the help of solar generation it is planned to generate 2.6 megawatts of electricity.
On the last day, 15 December, workshop participants heard a series of special presentations from:
- Koray Yenigürbüz, Vice President, Board of Directors of the Nuclear Industry Association of Turkey (NIATR) delivered a presentation.
- Vasilii Korelskii, CEO Spokesman, Director of Communications at the Akkuyu Nuclear JSC
- Alexander Voronkov, Regional Vice President for Middle East and North Africa at the Rosatom