A New Stage for Akkuyu
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#272December 2023

A New Stage for Akkuyu

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Akkuyu NPP Unit 1 received the commissioning permit. Meanwhile, the Turkish government is discussing nuclear capacity additions, and Rosatom is prepared to take part in these new projects, the Russian nuclear corporation announced.

In December, The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NDK) of Turkey issued a permit to AKKUYU NUKLEAR to put into operation the first power unit of the plant.

“The Resolution of the NDK confirms the fulfillment of all the requirements of Turkish legislation and international standards for the construction of nuclear power plants by us, and we are ready to move on new actions,” said AKKUYU NUKLEAR CEO Anastasia Zoteeva.

The permit enables the start–up and adjustment works to commence — ​the final stage of the NPP construction. The next stage of licensing of the Akkuyu NPP is obtaining a license for the operation of the first power unit, which will allow to start loading nuclear fuel into the reactor and start pre-launch control operations.

Also in December, a modern chemical laboratory was commissioned at the Akkuyu NPP construction site. One of the key safety features of the VVER‑1200 reactors is double-­circuit steam generation, which prevents water in different circuits from mixing. Specialists of the chemical laboratory will analyze the indicators of ultra-pure desalinated water for compliance with modern international requirements. It is designed for circulation in the primary closed circuit of the reactor — ​between the reactor plant and the steam generator.

“Laboratory specialists are already engaged in chemical analysis of desalinated water, which will be required for flushing equipment and pipelines of process systems of the Akkuyu NPP when preparing for physical start-up of the first power unit. I would like to note that the laboratory employs both experienced Russian engineers and young Turkish specialists who absorb knowledge, experience and modern chemical monitoring technologies,” Director of the Akkuyu NPP Sergei Butсkikh said.

Russian companies continue to timely manufacture and supply innovative equipment for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. In late November, two horizontal moisture separator reheaters were shipped from the production site of Rosatom’s power engineering division AtomEnergoMash in Saint Petersburg for Akkuyu Unit 1. The total weight of the shipped products amounted to 640 tonnes.

As the name suggests, the moisture separator reheater serves to separate moisture and reheat steam coming out of the high-pressure cylinder and entering the medium-­pressure cylinder of the turbine. This device is located in the turbine hall of the power unit and belongs to the auxiliary systems that increase the efficiency and reliability of the turbine.

As one of the world’s largest nuclear construction projects, Akkuyu is in the focus of public attention. The nuclear power plant organizes Doors Open Days on a regular basis. In late November, the Akkuyu NPP once again opened its doors to everyone willing to see the construction site. Top managers of AKKUYU NUKLEAR spoke via video link about the progress of the project and answered questions from the audience.

Anastasia Zoteeva noted that 2023 was a record year in terms of milestones passed by the project as the first batch of fresh nuclear fuel was delivered to the site in April and Turkey’s first training center for nuclear sector employees was commissioned in October.

Dmitry Romanets, Deputy CEO for NPP Construction at AKKUYU NUKLEAR, gave a detailed account of the works underway at the first unit. The plan for 2024 is to load fuel and generate the first kilowatt-­hours of electricity. Romanets explained that the reactor launch was a multi-­stage operation, with each stage consisting of many different tests and procedures.

Young Turkish nuclear engineers gave a virtual tour of the Akkuyu NPP site. The audience had a chance to visit the turbine island of Unit 1, the fresh nuclear fuel storage, and the training center.

Great prospects

Cooperation between Russia and Turkey in the nuclear field might continue. Rosatom presented its multi-­disciplinary offer to Turkey, which also covered new business areas, at the 17th International Congress and Expo Energy Is Future (EIF) 2023.

Rosatom was the main partner of the event held in November in Istanbul. EIF is one of Turkey’s largest exhibitions for the energy sector of the Middle East and North Africa. Representatives of the Russian nuclear corporation spoke about the latest developments in onshore and offshore small modular reactors, Rosatom’s comprehensive product offering for the Turkish market with a focus on power generation technology, and about water desalination, treatment and purification solutions.

Energy plays a significant role in the cooperation between Turkey and Russia. This was pinpointed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak following the meeting of the Russian-­Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Akkuyu is Russia’s flagship project in the civil nuclear energy sector, Novak emphasized. “We believe that Rosatom’s expertise in peaceful uses of nuclear energy can be used to build another nuclear power plant in Sinop. We are ready to offer partnerships in the field of small nuclear reactors as well,” Alexander Novak said.

Rosatom is willing to make new investments in the Turkish energy sector, Anton Dedusenko, Deputy Chairman of the Board at AKKUYU NUKLEAR, told DÜNYA newspaper. According to Dedusenko, new projects in Turkey are now under consideration, with interest in new partnerships confirmed at the highest level.

“We are always open to discussing opportunities that expand our cooperation with Turkish partners. Given our technology potential and production capabilities, we are prepared to consider the Turkish party’s proposals for the construction of new nuclear capacity in the country and, in turn, offer effective win-win solutions,” Anton Dedusenko pointed out.