At the construction site of the Akkuyu NPP in Turkey, installation has begun of the first of three lifting bridge cranes in the machine room at unit 1. The first and largest is a bridge electric double-beam crane with a lifting capacity of 350 tons. The crane will be used for lifting and loading and unloading operations in the engine room during construction and installation work and during operation of the plant.

The service life of the crane will be at least 70 years. Three lifting mechanisms are installed on the crane: the main rise, auxiliary lifting and electric hoist with a lifting capacity of 350, 40 and 6.3 tons, respectively. The length of the crane is 56.8 metres; its height 5.8 metres; and its lifting height 43 metres. The total weight is 385 tons.

Installation of attachments for mechanical and electrical equipment is also underway and phased connection of related equipment will be carried out. Subsequent work, including commissioning and transfer of the crane into operation will take at least 37 days. “At the end of the installation, all cranes will be used to install equipment and move heavy cargo in the engine room,” said Sergey Butsky director of the nuclear power plant under construction. “During operation, power units of the crane are necessary to organise the maintenance and repair of the main and auxiliary equipment of the turbine building. The service life of each crane is designed for the entire life of the power unit.”

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. Rosatom is building the reactors under a build-own-operate model. Construction of the first unit began in 2018, with start-up planned for 2023. The 4800MWe plant when completed is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs.

Construction and installation work at the Akkuyu NPP site is underway at all four power units, coastal hydraulic structures, power distribution systems, administrative buildings, the training centre, and physical protection facilities of the plant. All stages of construction are carefully monitored by independent inspection organisations and the national regulator – Turkish Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NDK).

Image: A lifing bridge crane being moved into place at Akkuyu 1 (courtesy Akkuyu Nükleer)