Con­struc­tion of Akkuyu nu­clear plant to start within 6 months

As the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment seeks ways to lower the coun­try’s de­pen­dence on en­ergy im­ports, the Akkuyu nu­clear plant is set to open in 2023 along with the in­crease in the us­age of lo­cal en­ergy sources

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

CON­STRUC­TION of the Akkuyu nu­clear power plant (NPP) will start at the end of this year or the be­gin­ning of next year at the lat­est, En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Berat Al­bayrak (L) said at an en­ergy event in the south­ern city of An­talya yes­ter­day. Rus­sia’s State Atomic En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion, Rosatom, plans to con­struct Turkey’s first nu­clear power plant in the south­ern prov­ince of Mersin on the Mediter­ranean coast. The plant has an oper­a­tional date set for the first re­ac­tor by 2023, and the plant is ex­pected to be up and run­ning at full ca­pac­ity by 2025.

AC­CORD­ING to Al­bayrak, the Turk­ish Atomic En­ergy Agency (TAEK), the coun­try’s reg­u­la­tory body, is work­ing on a de­tailed study for the con­struc­tion per­mit for the plant. Al­bayrak stressed that in stud­ies, even the slight­est risk will be ad­dressed in Turkey, a coun­try new to nu­clear tech­nol­ogy. All work for lo­cal­iza­tion has al­ready started, he said.

On Oct. 4, TAEK ap­proved AEM-tech­nol­ogy as an equip­ment man­u­fac­turer for the Akkuyu NPP. Ac­cord­ing to an an­nounce­ment from the com­pany, TAEK is­sued the ap­proval cer­tifi­cate to AEM-tech­nol­ogy, the ma­chine en­gi­neer­ing di­vi­sion of Rus­sia’s Rosatom, on Sept. 19. Rosatom is the first nu­clear power plant equip­ment man­u­fac­turer to ob­tain an of­fi­cial man­u­fac­tur­ing cer­tifi­cate.

The first agree­ment on Akkuyu Nu­clear Power Plant was signed with Rus­sia in 2010, when it was de­cided that Rus­sia’s state atomic en­ergy cor­po­ra­tion, Rosatom, would con­struct the fa­cil­ity. The plant will pro­duce ap­prox­i­mately 35 bil­lion kilo­watt-hours of elec­tric­ity ev­ery year, once com­pleted. The power plant will have a ser­vice life of 60 years.

The pro­ject has re­peat­edly run into de­lays, in­clud­ing be­ing briefly halted after Turkey downed a Rus­sian jet near the Syr­ian bor­der in Novem­ber 2015. Ties have since nor­mal­ized be­tween the two coun­tries and work on the plant has re­sumed.

Turkey’s sec­ond nu­clear power plant will be built by a French-Ja­panese con­sor­tium in Sinop, near the Black Sea.

De­pen­dent on im­ports for al­most all of its en­ergy, Turkey has em­barked on an am­bi­tious nu­clear pro­gram, com­mis­sion­ing Ro- satom in 2013 to build the four 1,200 megawatt (MW) re­ac­tors.

With Turkey’s en­ergy im­ports amount­ing to about $50 bil­lion an­nu­ally and its en­ergy de­mand among the fastest-grow­ing in Europe, Ankara wants at least five per­cent of its elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion to come from nu­clear en­ergy in un­der a decade, cut­ting de­pen­dency on nat­u­ral gas largely bought from Rus­sia.

Ac­cord­ing to the data pro­vided by the Min­istry of En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, by Jan­uary 2017, 449 nu­clear re­ac­tors have been op­er­at­ing in 31 coun­tries and 60 nu­clear re­ac­tors are in the process of con­struc­tion in 16 coun­tries. These re­ac­tors ac­count for 11 per­cent of the global elec­tric­ity sup­ply. On a coun­try-by-coun­try ba­sis, France sup­plies about 76 per­cent, Ukraine 56 per­cent, Bel­gium 37 per­cent, Swe­den 34 per­cent, South Korea 30 per­cent, the Euro­pean Union (EU) 30 per­cent and the U.S. 20 per­cent of their elec­tric­ity de­mand through nu­clear power plants.

At the mo­ment, there are 20 nu­clear re­ac­tors that are be­ing built in China, seven in Rus­sia and five in India. In ad­di­tion, there are four nu­clear re­ac­tors that are be­ing built in the U.S., four in the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE), three in South Korea and one in France.

The cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ments that in­clude such qual­i­ties as cool­ing for 72 hours with­out ex­ter­nal hu­man in­ter­ven­tion, air­plane crash pro­tec­tion, pas­sive safety sys­tems, dig­i­tal con­trol rooms, com­pact equip­ment and sys­tem de­signs and other vi­tal ad­vance­ments are re­ported to have made the de­sign of nu­clear power plants far safer and more se­cure.

En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Berat Al­bayrak

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