Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan marked the start of the full-scale construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in the Turkish province of Mersin on April 3 with a grand opening ceremony via a video conference.
After their opening statements, the leaders of the two countries signed off on the start of construction work and a symbolic button was pressed to mark the pouring of the “first concrete” into the base for the reactor building of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Rosatom said in a press release.
“Rosatom is building a cutting-edge, tried and tested (generation III+) nuclear power plant in Turkey featuring four power units based on the Russian VVER-1200 design which meets the world’s highest safety standards,” Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev said, adding that the model Rosatom is building at Akkuyu is already being built. “Unit 6 of the Novovoronezh NPP and unit 1 of Leningrad NPP-2, based on the same design, are already up and running, with the former in commercial operation and the latter launched in February. The safe and efficient operation of these units underscores the reliability of our technologies,” Likhachev said, adding that the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is the largest joint project between Russia and Turkey. “It is important to emphasise that the project is progressing according to plan in cooperation with our Turkish partners,” he said.
On the eve of the ceremony, JSC Akkuyu Nuclear, the project operator, acquired a license for nuclear power plant construction from Turkey’s Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom said.
In late March, the project company also received permission to build the reactor building of the first power unit of the Akkuyu plant from the administration of the Gulnar district.
According to Rosatom, the pouring of the “first concrete” is an important stage in the implementation process, marking the transition to the full-scale construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, including the construction of the buildings and facilities constituting its “nuclear island.”