The basemat for the nuclear island buildings of unit 1 of the Akkuyu nuclear plant was completed on 8 March, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced.
Work included laying more than 17,000 cubic metres of self-compacting concrete caste for the foundation slab. Construction of the exterior and interior walls of the reactor building will be the next operational stage. Construction of concrete bases for the auxiliary reactor building and the emergency control room building are simultaneously underway.
"Like all technological options used during the Akkuyu NPP construction, the concreting of the foundation slab of unit 1 meets all modern requirements of the world nuclear community, IAEA's [International Atomic Energy Agency] safety standards, and both international and national requirements of the Republic of Turkey," said Anastasia Zoteeva, CEO of Russian-owned project developer company Akkuyu Nuclear.
Currently, 70% of the Akkuyu site is ready, and the rest will be finished by the end of the year. Under the "limited work permit," which the company obtained in November 2018, the engineering studies paperwork for the second reactor is already in progress.
Akkuyu Nuclear expects to obtain the main construction licence for unit 2 by June 2019, after which the foundation slab will be laid. The company is already preparing the necessary documentation to obtain the construction license for the third reactor.
Rosatom is building Turkey's first nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin. Work at the Akkuyu NPP started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russia in 2010. Construction of unit 1 began in April 2018 at a ground-breaking ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Akkuyu will comprise four generation 3+ VVER-1200 units able to produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs. Unit 1 is expected to begin operation in 2023, with all four running at full capacity by 2025.
Photo: Akkuyu 1 basemat (Credit: Akkuyu Nuclear)