Environmental report for Akkuyu plant

09 July 2013

A report on the enrivonmental impact of Turkey's forthcoming Akkuyu nuclear power plant has been presented for independent review. The Russian-led project is the first of many Rosatom hopes to win.

The 3000-page report was handed to Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation where it will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts. Their conclusions, which will take account of public comment, will be in turn presented to the ministry.

The project is for the country's first nuclear power plant, sited at Akkuyu near the port of Mersin, featuring four Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactors producing 1200 MWe each. Its impacts in terms of biology, economics, society, agriculture and natural resources are detailed in the report, as are common public concerns including sea water temperature, seismicity and waste disposal.

Environmental approval based on the study is expected at the end of this year. The project then needs a construction licence and a power generation licence, which could be in place by mid-2014, enabling construction to start before 2016 and operation of the first unit in 2021.

Supported by the Russian state, Akkuyu will be built, majority-owned and operated by Rosatom subsidiaries. The Turkish grid operator TETAS guarantees the investors around $123 per MWh for 70% of the output of the first two reactors and 30% of the second two, with the remainder being sold on the open market. Rosatom is to pay 20% of its total profit back to the Turkish state after the first 15 years. Rosatom will provide the fuel for the lifetime of the plant, and manage its disposal.

This model, as well as the similar build-own-transfer approach, are expected to be fruitful for Rosatom in future. At last month's AtomExpo exhibition and conference in Saint Petersburg Dzhomat Aliev, director general of export coordinator Rusatom Overseas, said he expected some 24 reactors around the world to be operating on such a basis by 2030.

Turkey is working on another major nuclear power plant import at Sinop, where the Atmea1 design from the Areva-Mitsubishi joint venture is under consideration. An agreement was signed in May between Turkey and Japan to take forward exclusive negotiations on this. GdF-Suez would be the operator of the eventual plant which could start up its first unit in 2023.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News