April 3, 2018, the “first concrete casting” ceremony was held at Akkuyu NPP construction site in Gülnar Municipality (Mersin Province, Turkey). The event marked the launch of Rosatom’s full-scale activities to build Turkey’s first-ever nuclear power plant.  

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan took part in the celebration via videoconferencing. 

As Vladimir Putin addressed the ceremony, he said, ‘The first power unit of Akkuyu NPP is to be launched into operation in 2023. A considerable part of goods and services required for the future power plant are going to be procured in Turkey. The Akkuyu project enables both Russia and Turkey to create new, contemporary and well-paid jobs and to develop their cutting-edge technologies and industries. This construction project will use state-of-the-art engineering solutions and technologies that are both reliable and economically efficient. The strictest safety standards and environmental requirements will be observed. I am convinced that in 2023, all of Turkey is going to welcome the effect of power that will be generated by this power plant, which shall indeed be a high-tech one.’

In turn, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that the start-up of this NPP in 2023 is going to mark the centennial anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. ‘In 2023, once Akkuyu NPP is started-up, Turkey will join the family of nations which have their own nuclear power industry. Akkuyu power plant is going to cover 10% of our nation’s entire power demand,’ he commented. 

Following their welcoming addresses, the leaders of the two countries gave their go-ahead signal to the construction team and first concrete was poured into the foundation of Power Unit 1 reactor building.  

Over 500 persons attended the construction launch ceremony on the site, including residents of the local community, construction team members, school pupils, local officials, heads of the relevant ministries, agencies and institutions, press reporters, business partners and representatives of Rosatom companies involved in the project implementation.  The ceremony was also attended by young Turkish professionals who only a few weeks ago graduated from Russian universities that offer education programmes relevant for the nuclear industry. These fresh graduates are going to be employed by the special-purpose company. 

As Rosatom State Corporation CEO Mr. Alexey Likhachev commented the event, he emphasised, ‘Rosatom is going to build in Turkey an advanced and reliable Generation 3+ nuclear power plant with four powerful VVER 1200 power units; the plant will meet all international safety requirements and standards. In Russia, we have already launched a flow production of these state-of-the-art power units: Novovoronezh NPP Power Unit 6 was recently launched into commercial operation, and in February 2018, the first power unit at Leningrad NPP-2 was commissioned. Successful operation of these power units confirms our technology’s reliability.’ 

Mr. Alexey Likhachev also pointed out that Akkuyu NPP is the largest investment project shared by Russia and Turkey. ‘It ought to be stressed that this project has been implemented exactly as planned and that our cooperation with the Turkish partners has been very efficient,’ added he. 

On the eve of this important event, Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) granted the NPP Construction License to AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC. At the end of March, the Administration of Gülnar granted the company a permit to build the reactor building for Power Unit 1. 

Prior to that, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC was officially recognised a full-scale strategic investor. A renewed strategic investment certificate was issued to this special-purpose company by the Ministry of Economy of Turkey. This certificate enables the company to apply reduced tax rates or tax exemptions (including income tax and VAT exemptions/reduced rates) and exempts it from customs fees and charges.


Facts and figures:

Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant construction project is the largest joint undertaking in the history of Russian-Turkish relations. The power plant will have four power units with Generation 3+ VVER 1200 reactors whose total capacity is 4.8 GW. This is an updated series nuclear power plant design based on Novovoronezh NPP-2 (Voronezh Region, Russia). The Project’s business model: BOO (build-own-operate). The Project’s General Customer and Investor: AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC (AKKUYU NÜKLEER ANONİM ŞİRKETİ, a special purpose company); General Designer: Atomenergoproekt JSC; General Contractor: Atomstroyexport JSC (both Atomenergoproekt and Atomstroyexport are parts of the Rosatom’s Engineering Division); Project Developer: Rusatom Energy International JSC. The Project’s Technical Customer: Concern Rosenergoatom JSC; Academic Supervisor: National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute; Licensing Consultant: JV InterRAO-WorleyParsons LLC. The estimated service life of Akkuyu NPP: 60 years, which may be extended by another 20 years. 

It is planned that Rosatom’s machine building division, Atomenergomash JSC will supply complete sets of the nuclear island and the turbine hall equipment to all four power units of Akkuyu NPP. Atomenergomash Group companies will manufacture the reactor vessels, the reactor pressure vessel internals, steam generators, reactor coolant pumps, pipelines, reactor plant monitoring and control systems and other equipment and systems. Experimental Design Bureau Hydropress, an Atomenergomash entity, is the chief designer of VVER reactor plants, and Hydropress experts are going to be part of every stage of the power unit construction process. Turbine Technology AAEM LLC (a joint venture created by the machine building division Atomenergomash JSC and General Electric), jointly with Alstom Power Systems (a General Electric subsidiary) will manufacture the steam turbine plant equipment. 

Akkuyu NPP design meets all latest requirements accepted by the global nuclear community and set forth in safety standards issued by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group and EUR Club. Each power unit includes a reactor plant and a turbine plant and is equipped with cutting-edge active and passive safety systems that are able to handle all possible scenarios and any combination thereof.  All activities under the Akkuyu NPP project are closely coordinated with the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the independent regulatory authority TAEK (Turkish Atomic Energy Authority).

In May 2010, Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction and operation of Akkuyu NPP, Turkey’s first-ever nuclear power plant. In December 2010, a special-purpose company AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC was founded in Ankara; the company assumed responsibility for the power plant design, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning. At present, 100% of the funding for Akkuyu NPP construction project is provided by Russia. According to the terms and conditions of the Intergovernmental Agreement, at least a 51%-stake must be held by Russian companies, whereas up to a 49%-stake may be acquired by third-party investors.

On October 13, 2011, Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) granted a valid site license to AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC. In November 2013, TAEK approved the revised Foundational Report for the construction site prepared by Akkuyu Nuclear JSC under the site license terms for the construction of Akkuyu NPP with installed capacity of 4,800 MW. On December 1, 2014, the Ministry of the Environment and Urbanization of Turkey approved the Akkuyu NPP Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) developed by Akkuyu Nuclear JSC. On June 15, 2017, the Republic of Turkey Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) granted a power generation license to Akkuyu Nuclear JSC. In June 2016, the Turkish Parliament passed amendments to three laws that affect the process of license and permit granting. In February 2017, the Republic of Turkey Energy Market Regulatory Authority granted a 49-year-long power generation license. On February 9, 2017, TAEK approved the Akkuyu NPP site parameters. On March 3, 2017, TAEK received a construction license application. 

In October 2017, Akkuyu Nuclear JSC received a Limited Work Perming (LWP) from TAEK. On December 10, 2017, a foundation construction start ceremony took place at the Akkuyu NPP site under a Limited Work Permit issued by TAEK. Under the Limited Work Permit, construction and assembly works are being carried out at all of the NPP’s components except buildings and structures that affect nuclear safety. The current LCL works include: site preparation, access road construction, site grading, hydraulic structures building and construction and assembly works at the East Cargo Terminal. Construction and assembly works have been started at the West Cargo Terminal; construction works at the East and North catch-water drains are currently underway. Foundation slab for the Power Unit 1 Reactor Compartment is currently in progress; in particular: “concrete pad” pouring and horizontal water proofing have been carried out; foundation slab reinforcement is continuing. All works are carried out strictly in accordance with the terms of the Limited Work Permit.

Negotiations with potential project investors continue. Rosatom may sell a stake up to 49% to other parties who wish to invest into the project. One option is to have one investor acquire the entire 49%-stake or a smaller one; another option is to have several companies do so. This project affords considerable business opportunities to Turkish suppliers. Already now, Turkish contractors are involved in the construction works. It is currently estimated that Turkish companies may perform up to 40% of Akkuyu NPP construction works. Over 350 Turkish companies have asked to enter them into the potential supplier list, and those on top of the list have already been awarded contracts to perform the NPP site infrastructure preparation.

Another area of fast-growing cooperation is the training of Turkish personnel for the future NPP operation. Only a few weeks ago, 35 Turkish students graduated from Russian universities; they had completed specialised professional training programmes in Nuclear Power Plant Design, Operation and Engineering and are now ready to begin working for Akkuyu NPP. The training programme in Nuclear Power Plant Design, Operation and Engineering takes 6.5 years to complete, and all of the students achieved great results. All of them will be employed by AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC and will be involved in the implementation of Turkey’s first-ever NPP project. At present, over 200 Turkish students are continuing their programmes in Russian universities in order to receive training that will qualify them to work at Akkuyu NPP.

In order to keep the Turkish public updated on the progress of Akkuyu NPP construction project, a Nuclear Power Industry Public Information Centre operates in the city of Mersin.

The “first concrete casting” is an essential project milestone that marks the launch of full-scale construction activities at Akkuyu NPP site, including all buildings and structures that are part of the nuclear island. The “first concrete casting” works are going to be performed by Trest RosSEM LLC, a company that has a 27-year-long record of service as contractor in power industry and general industry construction sector; the company is a subsidiary of ASE Engineering Company JSC (ASE EC JSC), a Rosatom State Corporation holding.


Communication Department, Rosatom State Corporation