Turkey’s Akkuyu NPP may now move forward

5 July 2016

Russia's permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna (including the International Atomic Energy Agency), Vladimir Voronkov, said on 30 June that the Akkuyu NPP project in Turkey could now move forward. The project had been effectively (but not formally) frozen since November 2015 when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria. However, an apology from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now seems to have ended the stalemate.

The intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey on cooperation in the construction and operation of a NPP at Akkuyu near the city of Mersin in southern Turkey was signed in 2010. The $20bn project will be Turkey's first NPP and will comprise four 1,200MWe VVER reactors. Under the agreement, 51% of the shares of the project company Akkuyu will be held by and 49% by foreign investors.

On 1 June, despite the lacok of progress on the project at that time, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said it expected a construction licence for the plant in 2018. Immediately after obtaining the construction licence, "first concrete" will be poured. Commissioning of the first unit is planned for 2023, and completion of the NPP in 2026.

Turkey's second NPP is expected to be built by France's EDF and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and will involved their jointly developed Atmea-1 reactor design.

Meanwhile, on 29 June, Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with China for the mutual development of nuclear technology and cooperation. Turkey also held talks earlier in June with Ukraine on possible nuclear co-operation. The discussions reportedly covered the possible participation of Ukrainian companies in the Akkuyu project.

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