Akkuyu Construction Kicked Off

Another landmark event took place on the construction site of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant as the official groundbreaking ceremony was staged to mark the beginning of construction after the limited construction permit was issued by the Turkish regulator. For more details on the event read our report.

The ceremony took place on 10 December and was attended by Alexey Likhachev, Chief Executive Officer of Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom, and Fatih Dönmez, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey. Concreting of the foundation for the nuclear island facilities is an important part of the preparatory phase. The limited construction permit enables the contractor to start construction and installation operations at any facility on the nuclear plant’s site, except for the facilities that are crucial for safety of the nuclear island.

“I see that the ceremony is also attended by local people, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support. Rosatom has decided to establish a community council to foster the dialog on Akkuyu and involve local communities in the project implementation. We have almost a century of cooperation ahead while the power plant generates clean energy for Turkey,” Alexey Likhachev said.

Fatih Dönmez, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, said, “We expect this region to flourish in a few years. A good example is the Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant, which is a reference project for the Turkish plant. In 1959 when its construction started there were as few as 3,000 people living. Now it is a city with the population of 30,000. We expect the same to happen here.”

On 2 December 2017 the site was fully prepared for the concreting of a reactor foundation slab to start at the power plant’s Unit 1. This task was completed right on schedule by a Turkish company.

The limited construction permit allows the contractor to begin ground works on the site of Unit 1, make preparations for the concreting of basemats for main and auxiliary buildings and structures, do site grading and leveling work, fill in the Akkuyu Bay up to level +10.5 m, and construct Eastern and Western cargo terminals, Eastern and Southern catchwater drains, temporary buildings and structures, a fire station, fire water reservoirs, and a fire pump station.

In March 2018, Akkuyu Nükleer plans to obtain a construction license that will enable it to begin the foundation slab concreting. The first concrete will be an official beginning of the main construction process.

Apart from construction operations, the work is ongoing on the site to monitor the environment, including seismic and meteorological parameters, underground water and sea conditions. All operations on the Akkuyu site are performed in accordance with Turkish national laws and coordinated with the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority.

Local potential

The Akkuyu construction project offers numerous opportunities to Turkish suppliers. They are expected to do about 35–40% of the Akkuyu construction work for 6–8 billion US dollars. Over 350 local companies have applied for inclusion in the list of potential suppliers, and some of them have already won contracts to build infrastructure for the nuclear power plant.

At present, there are more than 300 people working on the site, with 90% of them being Turkish nationals from the neighboring communities of Büyükeceli, Silifke, Taşucu and Aydıncık. Highly qualified engineers involved in the construction process were hired from Turkish companies previously engaged in major power generation and industrial construction projects in the Republic of Turkey

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Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is constructed in accordance with the framework agreement signed by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey in May 2010. The Akkuyu NPP project provides for four 1,200 MW reactor units to be built based on the design of Novovoronezh II (Voronezh Region, Russia). The power plant will have a service life of 60 years.