03 April 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan today attended via videolink from Ankara a ceremony to mark the pouring of first concrete for unit 1 of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. Putin arrived today for a two-day working visit to the Turkish capital.
The Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) yesterday awarded a construction licence for Akkuyu NPP, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which is being built in Mersin province, in southern Turkey.
The $20 billion project to build the four-unit, 4800 MWe plant is part of Erdogan’s ‘2023 Vision’ marking 100 years since the founding of modern Turkey and is intended to reduce the country’s dependence on energy imports. The first unit is scheduled to start operations that year, with the other three units following by 2025. The plant is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey’s electricity needs.
Erdogan noted that, between 2003 and 2017, the Turkish economy had grown on average by 5.8%, and last year alone by 7.4%. As the country strives to become one of the ten richest countries in the world, energy supplies will be “crucial” and the new nuclear power plant “of great importance”, he added.
“Currently, 31 countries produce a significant amount of electricity from 450 nuclear power plants. Also, in 16 countries, 55 nuclear power plants are under construction. And today we can say that the Akkuyu power station, the foundation of which we are laying today, is the 56th,” he said.
“In 2023, we will put into operation the first unit and Turkey will thereby join those countries that use nuclear energy … on the anniversary of our republic, we will crown this work with success.”
Putin said: “We have an ambitious task – to launch the first power unit in 2023, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Together with my dear friend Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we have agreed that we will do everything in order to fulfill this task.
“I am confident that the joint coordinated work of Russian and Turkish specialists will allow fulfilling all the planned plans in time. And the successful implementation of this project will be one of the symbols of the dynamic, progressive development of Russian-Turkish interaction and partnership, Russian-Turkish friendship.”
Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov said in a statement the Russian state nuclear corporation issued today: “Rosatom is building in Turkey a cutting edge, tried and tested (Generation III+) nuclear power plant featuring four power units based on the Russian VVER-1200 design which meets the world’s highest safety standards.
“The model we are building at Akkuyu is already being built in a series. Unit 6 of Novovoronezh NPP and unit 1 of Leningrad NPP II, based on the same design, are already up and running, with the former in a commercial operation and the latter launched in February. The safe and efficient operation of these units underscores the reliability of our technologies.”
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