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#265May 2023

Work Up and Running

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Delivery of fresh nuclear fuel for Akkuyu Unit 1 is the main event of this spring. You can read about it in detail in the News column of this issue. The article below contains expert comments and reports on other events related to the Akkuyu project.

The Akkuyu NPP officially became a nuclear facility upon delivery of nuclear fuel to the site. Political science and international relations expert İsmail Cingöz believes this event is a milestone in the history of Turkey’s nuclear energy industry: “Our big dream, which construction license was issued back in 1976 and which we have been waiting for over half a century to come true, is becoming a reality. With Akkuyu, Turkey will become a new member of the nuclear energy club, which plays a very important role worldwide.”

The Akkuyu NPP will have four VVER‑1200 reactors. Belonging to Generation III+, they are among the safest in the world.

Ankara University Institute of Nuclear Sciences Prof. Dr. Haluk Yücel emphasizes that an unparalleled combination of active and passive safety systems makes VVER‑1200 reactor truly exceptional and highly resistant to external and internal impacts: “In addition to active safety systems, these reactors are equipped with the so-called ‘passive systems’ that rely on the nature laws and need neither power supply nor intervention of operators or automatic systems.”

Prof. Dr. Sema Bilge Ocak, Head of the Department of Advanced Technology at Ghazi University’s Institute of Natural Sciences, recalls that the Akkuyu NPP is designed to protect the reactor and its auxiliary systems from external factors in the event of an earthquake or tsunami: “Akkuyu is an example of a Generation III+ nuclear power plant that has proven itself over the years and has been designed with continuous improvements and expertise in mind.”

The fuel delivery is the main but by no means the only news from the Akkuyu project. In late April, Russia’s Atommash (part of Rosatom’s power engineering division AtomEnergoMash) manufactured and shipped a pressurizer for Akkuyu Unit 2.

The pressurizer belongs to the core equipment of the nuclear island and is designed to build and maintain pressure in the primary circuit. It is a thick-­walled vessel weighing over 180 tons.

The pressurizer will be transported by truck from the factory to the cargo port on the bank of Tsimlyansk Reservoir (Don River). Then it will be loaded onto a barge and shipped to Turkey by sea. The length of the sea route will be about 3,000 kilometers.

Akkuyu Nuclear is an active contributor to social initiatives in the nuclear plant’s host region and does a lot for the children’s development in the local communities, organizing career guidance events and plant tours for school children, national-­scale creative competitions, open lessons at schools, educational camps and festivities. In late April, Akkuyu Nuclear CEO Anastasia Zoteeva met with Bahar Bolaç, a secondary school student from Büyükeceli, the town nearest to the Akkuyu NPP, on the occasion of National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Bahar is an ‘A’ student, excels in many fields and even finds time to learn Russian.

Bahar was taken on a tour of the Akkuyu construction site and learned about nuclear energy and the infrastructure of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. Then Anastasia Zoteeva congratulated Bahar on the Children’s Day. She wished her and all schoolchildren to continue to study well and believe in their dreams, and presented the girl with souvenirs for the whole family.

“We strive to make the children’s life bright, interesting, full of events and memorable. The Akkuyu team understands that it creates the future for all Turkey, and children play an important role in it,” Anastasia Zoteeva pointed out.

AtomEnergoMash (AEM) is Rosatom’s power engineering division and one of Russia’s largest power machinery producers providing comprehensive solutions in design, manufacture and supply of machinery and equipment for nuclear, thermal, petroleum, shipbuilding and steel-­making industries.