Nuclear fuel to be delivered to Akkuyu 'this spring'

01 March 2023

Rosatom's Director General Alexei Likhachev said, after talks with Turkey's energy minister Fatih Dönmez, that nuclear fuel would be delivered to Akkuyu this spring, with construction to be completed in the third quarter and then "proceed to commissioning".

Construction began at the site in April 2018 (Image: Rosatom)

Likhachev and Dönmez held talks and visited the construction site for Turkey's first nuclear power plant, which is being built by Russia's Rosatom.

The visit came three weeks after the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey. Likhachev expressed condolences to those affected and praised the workers at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant who "immediately went to the province of Hatay to help rescuers remove people from the rubble - help from our side will continue".

Accompanied by Anastasia Zoteeva, director general of the project company, he also discussed with Turkish contractors the financing of the project and plans to build a residential area for the operational personnel of the plant "as well as opportunities for Turkish companies to participate in other foreign projects of Rosatom".

Likhachev said that once the nuclear fuel was delivered "Akkuyu NPP site will receive the status of a nuclear power facility. This will be a major event for the global nuclear industry. In the third quarter, we will complete general construction and installation work at the first unit and proceed to commissioning. Then, within a few months, in accordance with the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency, we will test equipment and fuel directly in the reactor. It's an ambitious schedule, but we stick to it rigorously".

The Akkuyu plant, in the southern Mersin province, is Turkey's first. Rosatom is building four VVER-1200 reactors, under a so-called BOO (build-own-operate) model. Construction of the first unit began in 2018, with startup planned for 2023. The 4800 MWe plant is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News