Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has begun pouring the first concrete for unit 2 of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey, signalling the start of construction, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said on 26 June.
“The second unit will begin operation within a year after the first,” he added. Commissioning of Akkuyu 1 is planned for 2023. Donmez also noted that installation of the support ring for Akkuyu 2’s protective housing will now begin.
The Akkuyu NPP will comprise four units with Russian VVER-1200 generation 3+ reactors. Russian investment in the project is estimated at $22 billion. The plant is being constructed according to a build-own-operate model under Russian management based on an intergovernmental contract signed with Russia in 2010.
Currently almost 90% of the engineers employed in the construction are Turkish citizens, Donmez stressed. After the commissioning of the facility, 3000 people will be required to operate the plant. He added that the authorities are doing everything possible to ensure that the specialists who will work for Akkuyu are educated in Turkey.
"We have signed a protocol with the Ministry of National Education. We are going to change the curriculum according to which educational programmes in the field of nuclear energy will be introduced in the vocational technical schools of Mersin, including in Gulnar county where the NPP is located," he said.
The Volgodonsk branch of Atommash AEM Technologies (part of Rosatom’s engineering division - Atomenergomash) completed the production of a set of PGV-1000 MKO steam generators for unit 1 of the Akkuyu NPP, Atomenergomash said on 29 June.
The entire manufacturing cycle of the steam generators lasted about two years and included assembly-welding of bodies from individual shells and nozzles, manufacture of bottoms, installation of heat transfer pipes in the primary circuit collectors and installation of internals, as well as a set of control measures. An important stage in the production of a steam generator, which lasts 22 days, is installation of 11,000 stainless heat-exchanging pipes with a total length of about 125 kilomeres.
A range of tests and controls were carried out on each of the steam generators - hydraulic and vacuum tests, ultrasonic, magnetic powder, eddy-current controls and X-ray gamma-graphing. In total, 415 operations for each product were undertaken by quality control specialists.
Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez visited the Akkuyu site in June (Photo: Turkish Energy Ministry)