July 21, 2022, Buyukeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey – A ceremony dedicated to the start of the construction of the fourth unit at the first nuclear power plant in Turkey was held at the Akkuyu NPP site, signifying the beginning of the main construction phase.
The event was held with the participation of Fatih Dönmez, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Ziya Altunyaldız, Chairman of the Energy Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Alexey Likhachev, Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, Anastasia Zoteeva, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Director General, Ali Hamza Pehlivan, Governor of Mersin Province, Alparslan Bayraktar, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, Afşin Burak Bostancı, Head of General Directorate of Nuclear Energy and International Projects, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, and Zafer Demircan, President of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
“Akkuyu NPP is the flagship Rosatom project outside of Russia. This is our largest project with construction taking place at four NPP units simultaneously. We see the colossal work accomplished at the construction of this nuclear power plant. I am confident this project has become an example worth following in the fruitful cooperation between the companies of our countries, involvement of the Turkish industry, and the establishment of an efficient supply chain. Choosing modern and reliable Russian nuclear technologies, the Republic of Turkey has created a foundation for energy sovereignty for decades ahead,” Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev said at the ceremony.
“Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is the largest one-time investment in the history of our Republic. When completed, the four reactors will meet 10 percent of our electricity demand. Akkuyu will play an important role not just through the electricity generation, but also with its contribution to our green energy goal. Akkuyu will prevent 35 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and a total of 2.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions during its 60 years of operation. State-of-the-art third generation VVER-1200-type reactors with the highest safety standards will be used in Akkuyu. Thus, we will support our energy supply security with an environmentally friendly, cost-competitive, and reliable energy source,” noted Fatih Dönmez, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey.
The licence for the construction of the fourth power unit of the Akkuyu NPP was issued by the Turkish Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NDK) in October 2021. The concreting was preceded by a wide range of preparatory work which included dewatering, excavation of a basement pit, installation of a concrete cushion and waterproofing, reinforcement of the basement and installation of embedded parts. The specialists pour concrete in the base of the future power unit and reinforce it with armature. The basement is divided into 16 zones, the so-called “captures”. The height of the concreting will be 2.6 metres, the average volume of each zone will be 1100 cubic metres, 17,000 cubic metres of concrete mix in total will be laid down in the basement of the unit.
The concreting process is carried out under the control of the laboratory specialists of the concrete plant, representatives of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC, the main construction contractor, the joint venture TITAN 2 IJ ICHTASH INSHAAT and independent construction control organisations.
Construction work continues in all areas of the project. Concreting of the foundation plates of the reactor building and turbine building of Unit 1 has been completed, the core catcher, reactor pressure vessel, steam generators, main circulation pump units have been installed, the welding of the main circulation pipeline has been completed. The fifth layer of the inner containment vessel has been installed. The 6th layer of the inner containment vessel, which is the lower part of the dome, is mounted and the pole crane is pre-assembled. A core catcher has been installed in Unit 2, the concreting of the foundation plates of the reactor building and the turbine building has been completed, and the third layer of the inner containment vessel has been installed. In Unit 3, while the reinforcement of the foundation floors of the reactor building and turbine building was completed, concrete was poured on the foundation of the turbine building and reactor building, and a core catcher was installed.
Turkish companies are actively involved in the implementation of the Akkuyu NPP construction project. There are hundreds of Turkish companies providing materials, equipment, services and carrying out various works in the project. Today, the volume of orders given to Turkish suppliers already exceeds 3 billion dollars. The project makes a significant contribution to the development of the region’s infrastructure and employment growth.
Currently, more than 25,000 people work at the Akkuyu NPP site, of which approximately 80% are citizens of the Republic of Turkey. Workers in the region are actively involved in the project. In the last year, more than 600 people from Gülnar district were employed on the field. According to the Social Security Institution of the Republic of Turkey, Akkuyu NPP is the largest employer in Mersin.
All work on the project is carried out in close cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NDK), the Turkish Agency for Research in Energy, Atomic Energy and Mining (TENMAK), and other relevant departments of the Republic of Turkey, with the approval of the IAEA.