Unit 1 of the Akkuyu NPP under construction in Turkiye is ready to load nuclear fuel, according to Denis Sezemin, the Director for Construction & Production Organisation at project company Akkuyu Nukleer (part of Rosatom). He said a 300-tonne crane had been installed at unit 1 and the installation of turbine generator equipment was underway. “A very important process … has been carried – the installation of the reactor equipment and the containment. During this process, compliance was established of the reactor, its internal equipment and other elements with the design documentation. This means the reactor is ready for the next stage – fuel loading.” 

The previous week the Council of Turkiye’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NDK) issued permission to commission Akkuyu 1. “Issuing this permit shows that we did everything correctly in line with Turkish regulation and international law. It enables us to proceed to the commissioning stage,” Sezemin noted. Fuel loading will become possible after Akkuyu NPP receives an operating licence. Akkuyu Nukleer has said their specialists are developing the technical documentation required to support the application for this licence.

Akkuyu will eventually host four 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. Completion of unit 1 is expected in the third quarter of 2023. Rosatom is constructing the reactors according to a build-own-operate model. To date, the project is fully funded by the Russian side. However, Rosatom has the right to sell a share of up to 49% in the project to other investors.

Image: Unit 1 at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkiye is ready for fuel loading (courtesy of Akkuyu Nukleer)