The Volgodonsk branch of Russia’s AEM-Technologies (part of the mechanical engineering division of Rosatom – Atomenergomash) has started manufacturing the reactor vessel for unit 3 of Turkey’s Akkuyu NPP, Atomenergomash said on 15 March. The blanks have passed the incoming inspection, including measurements with a 3D scanner. The shells of the nozzle zone and the flange for the first protective surfacing have been machined. Specialists are also manufacturing branch pipes of the emergency core cooling system. Further, control activities, surfacing and welding of nozzles will follow.

“Equipment for Turkey’s first NPP at Akkuyu is one of the main priorities in our portfolio of orders. All the main stages of equipment manufacturing are carried out under the close control of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency of the Republic of Turkey, which naturally imposes a special responsibility on us,” said Igor Kotov, General Director of AEM-Technology. “However, we already have a very rich experience of effective cooperation with foreign partners and are always open for dialogue on even the most complex technological and organisational issues. "

He added: “We have made the equipment for the first unit, and it is already at the construction site. Because of this we are sure that production for the other three units will proceed in accordance with the planned schedules and in close professional cooperation with Turkish colleagues.”

First concrete was poured for the third unit of Turkey’s Akkuyu NPP on 11 March. The Akkuyu NPP with four VVER-1200 units is being constructed on a build-own-operate basis by Rosatom, with commissioning of the first unit planned for 2023. The other three units are due to start operation by the end of 2026, at yearly intervals. Construction of the second unit started in June 2020 and Turkey granted a construction licence for the third unit in November.

Also on 15 March, Rosatom announced that its subsidiary, project company Akkuyu NPP had attracted two loans from Sovcombank of up to $200 million and $100 million, respectively, for a period of seven years to finance construction of the plant and that credit agreements had been signed for the funds. The loans were agreed on special terms at a reduced rate provided that the project company fulfils its obligations (covenants) in the field of sustainable development.

Ilya Rebrov, Deputy General Director for Economics and Finance of at Rosatom, noted: “By securing commitments in the field of sustainable development under the terms of loan agreements, Rosatom, using the example of the Akkuyu project, is demonstrating a new level of responsibility acknowledged by nuclear companies through their participation in the implementation of the global sustainable development agenda. There are no direct CO2 emissions in the production of nuclear energy, therefore, nuclear generation plays a critical role in ensuring the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the levels necessary to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, and to achieve the UN sustainable development goals as a whole.

Anton Dedusenko, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director for Sustainable Development and Relations with Shareholders at Akkuyu Nuclear said the Akkuyu NPP can be considered a flagship project from several points of view. “Akkuyu NPP is not only the first nuclear power plant to be built in Turkey. This is the first time in the world that “sustainable” financing has been issued directly for the purpose of NPP construction….Together with our Turkish partners, we are working to make the Akkuyu project a real visiting card of the nuclear industry in the field of sustainable development ”.

Dmitry Gusev, Chairman of the Management Board of Sovcombank, said Sovcombank was the first Russian bank to sign up to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (UNEP FI) in 2019. “As part of the principles, the world's largest banks have pledged to align their strategies with the UN's climate targets. Our cooperation with Rosatom and Akkuyu Nuclear meets these goals, and Sovcombank and Rosatom are interested in the development of low-carbon clean energy, which corresponds to Goal number 7 "Affordable and Clean Energy".