ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkey plans to build three nuclear power plants over the next few years that should become operative from 2011 to avoid a possible energy shortage, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said yesterday. Turkey had earlier sought to build a nuclear plant in a seismic area near Akkuyu Bay on its southern coast, but shelved the project four years ago amid heavy criticism from environmentalists at home and abroad. Guler said Turkey faced a possible power shortage after 2010-2011 that could leave it dependent on foreign resources. «We have plans to build three nuclear power plants and they will come into operation one by one as of 2011,» Guler was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. «We’re just waiting for the word to start.» «We plan to meet 8 to 10 percent of the energy demand with nuclear power,» he said, adding that the plants would have a total capacity of about 4,500 megawatts. No date has been set for a tender and no site has so far been chosen for the plants, Guler said.