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Three reactors of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant are constructed in parallel in the Turkish province of Mersin; construction of the fourth reactor is about to start. A nuclear power plant can change lives of people and the entire region for the better and offers one-off growth opportunities to local businesses. This was discussed at the seminar for Akkuyu suppliers held at the end of the previous year.
The seminar was attended by about 230 representatives of 150 manufacturing companies and service provides from all over Turkey. They listened to representatives of Rosatom, Turkish universities, Ministry of Energy and National Resources of Turkey, and other experts.
Presenting slides at the seminar, Gokhan Arslan, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Mersin University and Director of the Center for the Study and Application of Energy Technologies, provided statistics on the impact of the energy industry on global warming processes and emphasized the special role of nuclear energy in the fight against climate change.
Salih Sari, Head of the Nuclear Infrastructure Development Department of the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, pointed out a global trend of growing demand for nuclear generation in an effort to achieve decarbonization goals. “Our country ratified the Paris Agreement this October and thereby set a goal to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. Within this context, nuclear power plants take an important place in the Turkish energy system development strategy. They will contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time will guarantee energy security of our country. In accordance with the strategic objectives set, Turkey schedules to build three nuclear power plants that will operate a total of 12 power units,” Sari said.
Rosatom’s representatives spoke in details about the progress of the nuclear power plant construction project and cooperation with the project stakeholders in increasing the local content, i. e., expanding the share of Turkish products used in the project. The participants of the seminar learned about the Rosatom Procurement System, requirements for nuclear project suppliers, and procurement procedures in the nuclear industry. Representatives of the main contractor for the Akkuyu NPP spoke about the procurement program for the next two years and shared their experience in procurement. They also paid attention to such nuances as document preparation and application procedures, common mistakes in procurement applications, and registration with e-tendering platforms.
“I am greatly pleased that we took part in the seminar and B2B meetings with representatives of Akkuyu Nuclear and the joint venture. They spoke in detail about the procurement procedures and procurement schedules, and also provided clear answers to all our questions,” Aykut Tor, Head of the Regional Turkish division of IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture S. A.U. (Spain), shared his impressions.
Construction of a nuclear power plant stimulates growth of many different businesses, and not necessarily those related to supplying the project with products and materials. The hotel industry is a good example. According to Fevzi Boyraz from Marvista Turizm Otelcilik Anonim Sirketi, his company decided to build a hotel in the town of Yeşilovacık because it is situated in a 10‑minute ride away from the Akkuyu construction site. The hotel opened its doors in July 2021.
“As a rule, hotels located on the coast work only during the tourist season, but thanks to the Akkuyu NPP project we have an opportunity to work all year round. Even now, in December, our hotel is more than 50 percent full, and almost all of our guests are somehow connected with Akkuyu. This allows us to hire qualified personnel on a full-time basis. I see the Akkuyu NPP as a huge advantage and a great potential in terms of the regional development,” Fevzi Boyraz said.
The Akkuyu project is of strategic significance for Turkey. When put in operation, the Akkuyu NPP will satisfy 10 % of the total power demand in the country, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez said in an interview for CNN TÜRK. “We will import nearly 7 billion cubic meters of natural gas less than now, which is equivalent to USD 5–6 billion in budget savings. If we consider long-term economic effects of nuclear power plants, they turn out to be the most cost-efficient sources of power,” the minister pointed out.
Nuclear technology changes the life of people for the better. This is a key message of the Atoms for Humanity, a global educational project initiated by Rosatom. The video project tells inspiring stories of simple people from all over the world, including Turkey. One of the episodes is dedicated to Burak and Canan Alatlı working at the Akkuyu NPP. Joined thanks to the education in Russian and the chosen profession, the couple now belongs to the team of pioneers working at Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. “We should not view this project as just a nuclear power plant — it will bring nuclear technology to Turkey, which means advancements in medicine, metallurgy, space exploration and much more. Nuclear energy is energy of our future and the future of our country,” Burak Alatlı said in an interview for KANAL 33.
Construction of three power units of the nuclear plant is rapidly moving forward, while Russian companies manufacture all the machinery and equipment for the Turkish nuclear power plant. In late December, Atommash, a Volgodonsk-based production facility of AEM Technologies (part of Rosatom), heat-treated a bottom of the reactor pressure vessel for Akkuyu Unit 3. The piece was first heated and kept at the temperature of 910 °C in an underground oven for nine hours. Then it was lifted with a crane and placed into a water tank for quenching. At the final stage, the bottom piece was put into the oven for tempering at 700 °C for about 40 hours.