Russia’s Central Design & Technology Institute (TsPIT – Tsentralnii Proektno-Tekhnologicheskii Institut), part of Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL, has completed shipment of the full set of equipment for the transhipment machine for unit 1 of the Akkuyu NPP under construction in Türkiye.

The earthquake-resistant transhipment/reloading machine is designed to load nuclear fuel into the reactor core and replace used nuclear fuel with fresh assemblies. It carries out technological operations with fuel assemblies, absorber rods of the control and protection system, and also monitors the tightness of fuel rod cladding.

TsPIT specialists have developed design documentation for all elements of the transshipment machine. All equipment was manufactured at Russian enterprises, shipments to Türkiye were carried between September 2023 and June 2024.

The reloading machine equipment is one of the most complex systems in the nuclear island complex of a nuclear power plant. It combines mechanical, lifting, electrical devices, a control system and must have high accuracy to perform work with fuel assemblies in a nuclear reactor. Requirements for the error of the reloading machine reaching a given coordinate are no more than 2 mm. The machine is designed to maintain its safety functions even during a severe earthquake. All initial requirements for the manufacture of the reloading machine are fully met, which will ensure its trouble-free and safe operation.

Akkuyu, Türkiye’s first NPP, will eventually host four Russian-designed VVER-1200 reactors. The pouring of first concrete for unit 1 took place in April 2018, for unit 2 in June 2020, for unit 3 in March 2021, and for unit 4 in July 2022. Rosatom is constructing the reactors according to a build-own-operate model. TsPIT’s contract with the general contractor for the construction of the Akkuyu NPP includes the manufacture and supply of transshipment machines for all four power units.