Construction of Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear plant will start at the end of 2017, or the beginning of 2018, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said on 11 October.
Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom plans to build Turkey's first nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, with the first unit scheduled to begin operation in 2023. The plant is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
Albayrak said the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) is working on a detailed study for the construction permit for the plant. On 4 October TAEK approved AEM-technology, Rosatom’s machine engineering division, as an equipment manufacturer for the Akkuyu project. TAEK issued the certificate on 19 September after having audited the company’s work in Volgodonsk and Petrozavodsk, Russia. "Particular attention was paid to the production processes, quality control at all stages of production, and the safety culture in the manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants," AEM-Technology said.
The first agreement for the Akkuyu project was signed with Russia in 2010 and Turkey commissioned Rosatom in 2013 to build the four 1200MWe reactors at the site on a build-own-operate basis. The €20bn ($23.4bn) project has repeatedly run into delays, including being briefly halted after Turkey shot down a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November 2015. Relations have since improved and work on the plant has resumed. Rosatom said in September that it aims to start work on the Akkuyu project by the end of March 2018.
Turkey has plans to build a second nuclear power plant in Sinop, near the Black Sea. A French-Japanese consortium will build that project.
Photo: How Akkuyu might look (Credit: Rosatom)