Vigorous Work on Site
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#271November 2023

Vigorous Work on Site

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Construction works are in full swing at each of the four Akkuyu power units as necessary buildings and structures and a radiation monitoring station are being erected. In early November, a full-scale simulator for the plant staff was inaugurated in the new building of the training center.

“With the full-scale simulator commissioned, Akkuyu NPP operators will have an opportunity to practice every possible scenario in the conditions closest to the operation of a real plant,” Sergey Butskikh, First Deputy CEO at AKKUYU NUCLEAR and director of the under-­construction nuclear power plant, commented on the commissioning.

The simulator’s hardware and software are a digital twin of the power supply and control systems installed at the Akkuyu NPP reactors. The simulator relies on a robust mathematical model that ensures real-time simulation of all reactor operation modes.

All the displays and controls of the simulator are identical to those on the main control panel of each reactor, and the information displayed on the simulator is presented in the same formats and units as on the real control panel. The employees trained on the simulator will also have to pass a certification exam and obtain a license from Turkey’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NDK) before being authorized to operate the Akkuyu NPP.

“The simulator will remain in use at the Akkuyu NPP for many years to come. Tens of thousands of Turkish engineers and operators will be trained there,” said Salih Sarı, Head of the Department for Nuclear Infrastructure Development of the International Projects Directorate of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

Major construction and installation works are continuing on the site. In late October, the installation of the inner containment’s fourth tier was completed in the reactor building of Unit 3.

The containment is one of the fundamental components of the nuclear power plant’s passive safety system. It isolates the reactor compartment and serves as a support for pipeline penetrations and a polar crane, which is used to perform reactor maintenance during the plant operation.

“The next step on the plant is to proceed with welding of the third and fourth tiers, reinforcement, and installation of embedded parts, including parts of the airlocks for vehicles and personnel. After that, we will move on to the installation of the dome part of the containment, which consists of three sections, including the reactor building dome itself,” Sergey Butskikh said. He added that construction works at all the four power units of the Akkuyu NPP were fully on schedule.

In October, the first circular overhead crane, or ‘polar crane’, with a lifting capacity of 390 tonnes was put in operation at the first reactor unit. As one of the most essential machines in the reactor hall, the polar crane belongs to the highest safety class of the nuclear plant equipment. In the run-up for the commissioning, the main lifting mechanism of the crane were static tested with a simulated load of 487.5 tonnes.

The crane is used during both the construction and operation of the reactor unit as it performs lifting and transportation as part of reactor refueling and maintenance, delivers nuclear fuel to the fuel handling machine, and moves various equipment. The design of the crane makes it possible to perform handling operations anywhere in the central hall of the reactor building.

Also in October, a 40 meter-high mast for the automated radiation monitoring system (ARMS) was erected near the plant site. The mast is designed to carry meteorological instruments, antennas, and feeders. The ARMS will continuously monitor the level of radiation and weather conditions in the plant’s buffer and observation zones in every operating mode of the nuclear power plant.

Rosatom has not left aside its social initiatives in the communities neighboring the Akkuyu site. With support of AKKUYU NUCLEAR, the city of Gülnar hosted an opening ceremony for a number of community facilities, including a day care facility for the elderly, a women’s club, a youth center, a panda park, and a music class for primary and secondary schools.

Also in October, sailing races and master classes were organized in the Silifke district of the Mersin province with Rosatom’s support as part of the Sails of Spirit inclusive project. Around 30 people, including those with special needs, from 11 countries went sailing and then took part in various master classes. “This is a special project that gives people support and an opportunity to overcome themselves. The project is not only about social adaptation, but also about developing new skills. Rosatom State Corporation is an active supporter of the initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life,” said Denis Sezyomin, Director for Construction and Production Organization at AKKUYU NUCLEAR.