Turkey is advancing its civil nuclear program. The country’s delegation displayed the achieved progress at the ATOMEXPO 2019 International Forum. Positive effects of Turkey’s Akkuyu project have already become visible in the social and cultural life of the region.
The ATOMEXPO 2019 International Forum held in Sochi, Russia, was very eventful for the Turkish delegation. For instance, signing of a strategic cooperation agreement between Rosatom power engineering division AtomEnergoMash, SNIIP (Rosatom subsidiary), and Turkey’s Elkon Elektrik on the sidelines of the forum. The parties intend to develop cooperation and deliver joint projects aimed at setting up local production of certain equipment and systems used in the shipbuilding industry.
“Working together, we can offer our partners advanced technical solutions to ensure reliable and effective equipment operation,” Alexander Rantsev, First Deputy CEO for Nuclear Power and New Businesses at AtomEnergoMash said.
Serdar Özbay, Project and Design Director and a member of the Management Board at Elkon, said that the agreement was a great contribution to the Turkish-Russian cooperation in the shipbuilding sector, “Close relations between Russia and Turkey will be of benefit to the shipbuilding industry as well. As one of Europe’s key shipbuilding companies, Elkon is pleased to be a partner to the Russian value-added projects and make a technology input.”
Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources won a prize at ATOMEXPO AWARDS 2019 for its contributions to the development and use of nuclear technologies for the benefit of mankind. This year, 52 projects from 25 countries took part in the contest. The Turkey Wants Nuclear initiative was shortlisted in the Public Communications category.
The initiative was launched in 2018 and included a series of TV videos featuring Nobel Prize laureate Aziz Sancar and L’Oréal-UNESCO International Rising Talent grant winner Bilge Demirköz who explained the importance of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant for Turkey. The videos enjoyed about 1 million views.
Anastasia Zoteeva, CEO of Akkuyu Nükleer, spoke about the latest developments at the plant’s site on the sidelines of the forum, “Earlier this year, we started building walls around Unit 1. A port with a customs office was constructed to handle large-size equipment and machinery for the plant. We expect to open the port in June and receive the first shipment of large-size machinery.” According to Anastasia Zoteeva, around 1,000 people are employed at the construction site with a significant share of Turkish nationals. “We are very much satisfied with the skills and qualification of Turkish construction workers, and their great willingness to work hard,” the CEO of Akkuyu Nükleer noted.
Anastasia Zoteeva also spoke about the local content program developed together with Turkey’s Ministries of Finance and Energy, “Working with Turkish companies is more preferable in terms of cost effectiveness, labor productivity and performance. We tend towards Turkish materials because we save greatly on our logistics and customs clearance costs. By our estimates, 40% of construction materials to be used in the project will be of Turkish origin.”
Anastasia Zoteeva stressed that construction of nuclear plants and towns next to them was always beneficial for the local infrastructural development, “Our goal is to help this place to prosper and grow into a prominent city. Global statistics show that each dollar invested in an infrastructural project similar to this one returns 5 dollars to the national and regional economies.”
The influence of the Akkuyu project on the cultural and social life of the region is already noticeable. On April 23, Akkuyu Nükleer organized events for kids in the town of Büyükeceli (Gülnar District, Mersin Province) to celebrate the National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. The celebrations were attended by around 2,000 people. Speaking at the event, Mustafa Ayvat, Governor of the Gülnar District, thanked the management of Akkuyu Nükleer for organizing the celebration and noted that children were the future of the nation.