Russia seals Akkuyu reactor vessel

12 February 2020

AEM Technology, part of Russia's Atomenergomash, has completed the welding together of the two halves of the reactor vessel for the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant which is under construction in Mersin province, in southern Turkey.

The reactor pressure vessel of Akkuyu unit 1 (Image: Atomenergomash)

The 4800 MWe plant will comprise four VVER1200 reactors and is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs.

The welding process took 10 days and involved continuous heating of the weld to a temperature of 150 to 300 degrees Celsius, the company said. The reactor vessel, which weighs 320 tonnes was then lifted by crane into a furnace, where the product will be heat treated for two days. A full range of tests, including the use of x-ray equipment, will be carried out. In parallel with the manufacture of the reactor vessel itself, the company’s facility in Volgodonsk, Russia, is also manufacturing the reactor internals.

Turkey aims to bring unit 1 online in 2023, the centenary of its foundation as a republic, while Turkish regulator TAEK granted JSC Akkuyu Nuklear a construction licence for unit 2 in September last year.

To date, the project has been fully funded by Atomenergomash's parent company, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. It is the first project in the world implemented according to the Build-Own-Operate model.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News