Containment building of first Akkuyu unit takes shape

02 July 2020

The installation of the second tier of the reactor building's internal containment has been completed at unit 1 of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant under construction in Mersin province, southern Turkey. The inner containment is one of the critical components of unit's safety systems, which prevent the release of radioactive materials to the environment, said JSC Akkuyu Nuklear.

The component was installed using one of the most powerful cranes in the world (Image: JSC Akkuyu Nuklear)

The height of the reactor building has now increased by 12 metres, from the level of 4.95 metres to 16.95 metres. The total weight of the installed structure is 411 tonnes and its diameter exceeds 20 metres, JSC Akkuyu Nuklear said. The internal containment will comprise three tiers and a dome. Once the installation of the internal containment is completed, it will undergo a pressurised leakage test. The unit will also feature an external containment structure that will protect the reactor, steam generators and other equipment from extreme external hazards.

"The installation of the containment's second tier brings us one step closer to the completion of construction of the Power Unit 1," said Sergei Butskikh, JSC Akkuyu Nuklear first deputy CEO and director of the nuclear power plant construction. "The containment's second tier is one of the largest structural components of the reactor building, and for that reason successful completion of its lifting and installation is a very important milestone for us. At the next stage the installed structure will be additionally reinforced, followed by formwork installation, and then we will proceed with concrete pouring."

JSC Akkuyu Nuklear noted that work is now being carried out simultaneously for three of the four units planned at Akkuyu. Concreting of the foundation slab has been completed and the core catcher has been installed at unit 1, while concreting of the foundation slabs of the reactor compartment and the turbine building of unit 2 are expected to be completed soon. Meanwhile, drilling and blasting operations are being carried out to excavate the pit for the nuclear island of unit 3.

The 4800 MWe plant will comprise four VVER-1200 reactors and is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs. Rosatom’s first build-own-operate venture, the USD20 billion project is based on an inter-governmental agreement signed between Russia and Turkey in May 2010.

The construction of unit 1 started in April 2018 and its basemat was completed in April 2019. Turkey aims to bring unit 1 online in 2023, the centenary of its foundation as a republic. Turkish regulator TAEK granted JSC Akkuyu Nuklear a construction licence for unit 2 in September.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News