Can We Use Dissolved Uranium in Lake Van? Fırat University (FÜ) Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry Lecturer Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yaman, stating that the uranium found in Lake Van is a gift from Allah to Turkey, said, "It is possible to achieve a prosperous country by establishing large industrial establishments such as the chemical industry with the energy we will obtain by using this uranium in nuclear power plants."
In his statement to the AA correspondent, Yaman emphasized that the biggest factor in the development of countries is the chemical industry, which provides intermediate input to many sectors such as automotive, textile, construction, plastics, pharmaceuticals and weapons industry.
Noting that the chemical industry has become one of the locomotive sectors in Turkey with a rapid rise in the last 10 years, Yaman argued that increasing energy costs in the chemical industry, which plays a key role in Turkey's 2023 vision, both blunt the competitiveness and block the way for new entrepreneurs. In addition, Yaman stated that while Turkey is taking steps to grow its economy in line with its 2023 target, when looking at the energy resources that will support these goals, it faces up to 70% energy import dependency. She said she was pregnant with nuclear power plants.
prof. Dr. Reminding that developed countries benefit from nuclear power plants due to their increasing energy needs, Yaman said:
“When we look at the developed countries, there are many nuclear power plants as well as those under construction in almost all of them. Therefore, the achievement of our state's 2023 target is only possible with the establishment of nuclear power plants. Otherwise, if energy is not obtained for free and is not made available to entrepreneurs, it cannot be competed with foreign companies. Therefore, the establishment of nuclear power plants is essential. In fact, even the completion of all existing dams and thermal power plants in our country is not sufficient in terms of energy required for the 2023 target. Some reports show this.”
environmentally friendly uranium
Stating that Turkey ranks first in Europe and second in the world after China in the increase in electricity demand, Yaman emphasized that nuclear power plants stand in front of them as an important alternative source despite all risks.
Explaining that enriched uranium is used as a raw material in nuclear power plants, Yaman reminded that uranium in the world is obtained either from ore or from sea water.
Mehmet Yaman stated that the reason why some environmentalists oppose nuclear power plants is that tons of waste is thrown into the environment to obtain a few kilograms of uranium during the extraction of uranium from more ore, and the risk of radioactive elements with carcinogenic properties such as thorium and radium in these wastes to mix with groundwater by rain. .
Arguing that this is not the case in obtaining uranium dissolved in sea water, however, Yaman said, “Japan has been producing uranium from seawater since the 1970s. Molds containing absorbents that hold uranium are thrown into the sea, and after a certain period of time, the uranium that is collected and attached to it is taken and released back into the sea.
Uranium richness in Lake Van
Stating that they found highly dissolved uranium in the lake water in their research to investigate the pollution in Lake Van in 2010, Yaman stated that uranium in Lake Van could play a key role in Turkey's 2023 target.
Yaman stated that there is around 50 thousand tons of uranium dissolved in the water of Lake Van in their calculations and that this amount will increase as the uranium continues to dissolve as the uranium is withdrawn from the lake, adding that this amount will provide a great economic input to the country.
prof. Dr. Yaman emphasized that the process of obtaining dissolved uranium in terms of the soda content of the Van Lake water is more advantageous, economical and environmentally friendly than other sources, and said:
“There is no question of throwing tons of radioactive materials into the environment during the enrichment phase of uranium in Lake Van. In addition, if we use the uranium in Lake Van, it does not end, and uranium will continue to dissolve from the uranium ores at the bottom of the lake until the water reaches equilibrium again. So it's like an endless resource. The uranium in Lake Van is a gift from God to Turkey. Despite this grace of Allah, it is possible for us to achieve a prosperous country by enabling the establishment of large industrial establishments such as the chemical industry with the energy we will obtain by using this uranium in nuclear power plants.”
Uranium institute should be established
Yaman stated that while Turkey is a foreign-dependent country in terms of energy resources such as natural gas, oil and coal, it is necessary to encourage nuclear power plants, which are an alternative that will reshape the country's perspective on the energy sector, and the enrichment of uranium in the water of Lake Van.
“Institutions such as TÜBİTAK and the State Planning Organization, which are among the leading R&D institutions in Turkey in this regard, should choose Lake Van as a priority area in their research. In fact, the establishment of a uranium institute such as the National Boron Research Institute in Turkey is of great importance.”
prof. Dr. Mehmet Yaman added that they have submitted projects to authorized institutions for the enrichment of uranium in Lake Van, but the acceptance phase has not been concluded.
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