Preparations begin for next Turkish unit

13 August 2021

Preparations have begun for the construction of the fourth unit at Turkey's Akkuyu nuclear power plant, Akkuyu Nuclear has confirmed, with excavations for the reactor building, turbine hall, auxiliary reactor building and other main facilities now under way. Separately, Netherlands-based geotechnical survey company Fugro has completed a complex 6-month offshore site characterisation project on the Sinop peninsula - a prospective site for a second nuclear power plant - on behalf of Turkish utility EUAS International ICC.

Excavations under way for Akkuyu 4 (Image: Rosatom)

The excavation works at Akkuyu, which is in Mersin province, are being carried out in accordance with the Limited Work Permit issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Turkey on 30 June, Akkuyu Nuclear said. The excavations cover an area of 655 square metres, and to a maximum depth of almost 12.5 metres. Almost 600 thousand cubic metres of soil in total will be removed and "soil strengthening" works carried out.

“This year, we expect to receive the construction licence for Unit 4 and begin full-scale construction works on the unit early next year. By the end of the year, the construction of the concrete blinding of the reactor and turbine buildings foundation slabs will begin, and afterwards the reinforcement of the slabs will be made," Sergei Butckikh, Akkuyu Nuclear first deputy CEO, said. Akkuyu will then be the world's largest nuclear construction centre, with four power units being built simultaneously, he said. "Simultaneous construction of four power units of the NPP will require high concentration of resources, but we are fully prepared for this”, he added.

Russia's state atomic energy corporation Rosatom is building four VVER-1200 reactors at Akkuyu, 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.

Sinop survey

Meanwhile, Fugro said it its newly completed 6-month offshore site characterisation project at Sinop will support feasibility studies for a second nuclear power plant (NPP). The company carried out a series of geological, geotechnical and geohazard tasks, including cone penetration testing and sampling, and continuous rock coring from water depths of 20-50 metres. The results were analysed by teams in Turkey and Houston, Texas.

The study builds on several earlier investigations carried out since 2013 and has "unlocked new insights into the site's subsurface conditions to help engineers in their safe design of the nearshore structures and earthquake safety measures," the company said.

Sinop, on the Black Sea coast, has long been under consideration as a site for a second nuclear power plant. Four ATMEA1 units have previously been proposed for the site.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News