Akkuyu project EIA gets ministry approval

01 December 2014

Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning has finally approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project.

Akkuyu 460 (Rosatom)
How the Akkuyu plant could eventually look with four AES-2006 units (Image: Rosatom)

JSC Akkuyu NPP, the Russian-owned company responsible for Turkey's first nuclear power plant, submitted an EIA for the project in July 2013, but had to send a revised versionĀ - with an additional 2000 pages - in April this year. The revision was in response to feedback from a special commission set up to review the EIA report. That commission had met last October and received comments and recommendations from numerous organizations and institutions.

The document has now been found "to be consistent with the special format of the Turkish EIA legislation and has been agreed upon", Akkuyu NPP said today.

The 5500-page report studies the potential impact of the planned nuclear power plant on the environment and specific areas of activity, "including agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, localization of production, fishing and much more," it said. Independent consultants and other experts in ecology and in the design, licensing and construction of nuclear power plants in Europe and Asia contributed to the report.

"The Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Mersin Province will be the first nuclear power plant in Turkey and [represents] the beginning of a nuclear industry for the country. As a result, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, political parties and Turkish citizens have been paying close attention to this construction project," it said.

After receiving approval of the EIA as part of the licensing process, Akkuyu Nuclear will now focus on obtaining all the necessary licences, permits and agreements in accordance with Turkey's legislative and regulatory requirements in order for construction of the plant to start. Site permitting is expected, following changes to Turkish laws governing coastal areas and growing olives. After that, a provisional licence for electricity generation, the signing of a construction licence and obtaining a building permit will follow. A building permit for maritime and coastal areas and then for the plant will follow.

Construction work is currently expected to begin on the first of Akkuyu's four 1200 MWe Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactors in 2015 or 2016. The plant is being financed by Russia under a build-own-operate model, under an intergovernmental agreement signed by Turkey and Russia in 2010.

Turkey's energy minister announced in October that review of the EIA was expected to be complete in November, and once a construction licence was issued some construction would start in April 2015. The company expected to commission the first unit in 2021, though in March 2014 the Turkish energy minister said he expected it to operate in 2019.

Shareholders in Akkuyu NPP are Rosenergoatom (93%), INTER RAO UES (3.5%) Atomstroyexport (3.5%), with JSC Atomenergomont and JSC Atomtechenergo each holding 0.1%. Eventually up to 49% of shares may be transferred to other investors.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News