Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL has shipped nuclear fuel simulators to Turkey for testing at unit 1 of the Akkuyu NPP, along with models of the control rods. The simulators were manufactured at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP – part of TVEL).  

Before launching a new power unit Russia first loads mock-up fuel assemblies (simulators) into the reactor core, which are then removed and tested to assess the operation of the key systems of the reactor plant. The core of the generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactor design used at Akkuyu contains 163 fuel assemblies with uranium fuel.

The delivery of the initial load of nuclear fuel for Akkuyu unit 1 is scheduled for 2023. At the end of 2017, TVEL and Project company Akkuyu Nukleer signed a long-term contract for the supply of Russian nuclear fuel for all four power units of the Akkuyu NPP.

In addition TVEL subsidiary, the Central Design & Technological Institute (CSTI), will supply refuelling machines for each power unit, which are used to load fresh fuel into the core and unload used assemblies. The delivery of the refuelling machine for unit 1 is also scheduled for 2023.

Akkuyu is the first nuclear power plant under construction in Turkey, and will eventually host four units of 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.

Image: Construction site of Turkey's Akkuyu nuclear power plant (courtesy of Akkuyu Nukleer)