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Japan could lose rights on nuclear plant

TOKYO, July 27 (UPI) -- Japan could lose preferential negotiation rights to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey if it doesn't signal it will continue talks by July 31, officials say.

Citing government sources, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Turkey has told Japan it would continue negotiations with Japan in August but might ask other counties, including France and South Korea, to submit plans for building the plant.

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Negotiations between Turkey and Japan have been suspended since the disaster at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant after an earthquake and tsunami in March.

And last week, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, referring to the export of nuclear power plants and related technology, said the country would "have to restart a serious discussion on the matter from scratch"

The Turkey plant, to be built in the Black Sea coastal city Sinop, is to have four 1.4 million kilowatt-class nuclear reactors and begin operating around 2020. Toshiba Corp. has said it wants to build the plant with the Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Japan had won preferential negotiation rights after Turkey ended negotiations with South Korea in December.

Japan's earthquake-resistant technology is highly sought by Turkey, also prone to earthquakes, sources said.

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