“Today is a momentous day in the development of Russian-Turkish cooperation in nuclear energy. With the delivery of nuclear fuel, the Akkuyu NPP has become a nuclear facility,” Rosatom’s Director General Alexey Likhachev said at the ceremony for the first nuclear fuel delivery to the Akkuyu NPP. He stressed that neither pandemic nor political pressure had hindered the success of the world’s largest nuclear construction project.
Rosatom’s chief briefly outlined the situation at each of the power units under construction. According to him, Akkuyu Unit 1 is in the final construction phase, with equipment installation nearing completion. The reactor pressure vessel is in place at Unit 2, while the so-called core catcher (a corium catching device) is under installation at Unit 3. At the fourth reactor unit, installation of reinforcement for the foundation of the main building is underway and long-lead equipment, including a half-speed turbine, is in production.
Alexey Likhachev praised the progress of cooperation between the Russian nuclear industry and Turkish manufacturing and construction companies participating in the project. “Turkey has developed its own nuclear industry cluster. The experience gained will help us unlock its potential in other projects, including international ones,” Rosatom’s Director General pointed out.
Rosatom is building residential quarters for Akkuyu employees in the town of Silifke, about 40 km away from the construction site. New houses, a school and a kindergarten will soon be built there.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to train the staff for the Akkuyu NPP. Almost 300 Turkish nationals have received degrees from Russian universities and done practical training, and many of them are now employed with the nuclear power plant.
“The nuclear power plant we are building in Turkey will have a lifespan of up to 100 years. I think the Akkuyu NPP has all the chances to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey,” Alexey Likhachev said.
The country celebrates the centennial anniversary of the Republic of Turkey in 2023. Turkey was proclaimed a republic by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on October 29, 1923.