Russia and Turkey plan to launch the first reactor at Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant in 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Speaking alongside Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Putin said the Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom would begin work at the Akkuyu site in the near future. Putin and Erdogan
According to Sputnik, Russian state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom will soon start work on the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to attend the ceremony to pour the first concrete at the Akkuyu NPP.
Putin noted that during the meeting in an extended format, following negotiations with a smaller number of participants, the parties have discussed strategic cooperation in the energy sector.
“This concerns the Turkish Stream [gas pipeline], this concerns the construction of the Akkuyu power plant. Rosatom is set to start the practical stage of the project’s implementation in the near future,” Putin said, adding that the launch of the first Akkuyu NPP reactor is planned for 2023.
Erdogan said after talks with Putin that he invited the Russian President to attend the ceremony to pour the first concrete at the Akkuyu NPP.
“We expect to hold the ceremony of pouring the first concrete at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in the coming weeks. If Mr. Putin’s program allows, we would like to jointly take part in the ceremony,” Erdogan said.
Turkey’s interest in nuclear energy dates back to the 1960s, when the government first conducted a feasibility study to build a 300–400 megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant (NPP).
The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant has been “under development” at Akkuyu, in Mersin Province in South-West Turkey for decades. Concerns about the seismic activity in the area had Turkey considering to move the project to a location by Sinop in the North part of the country. But also there, the situation was not much better due to the Anatolian fault line.
In 1998, a powerful 6.3R earthquake stroke Adana-Ceyhan killing 145 people, injuring more than 1,500 and leaving thousands homeless. The epicenter was less than 100km away from the Akkuyu location, in the East.
In May 2010, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement that a subsidiary of Rosatom — Akkuyu NGS Elektrik Uretim Corp. (APC: Akkuyu Project Company) — would build, own, and operate a power plant at Akkuyu comprising four 1,200 MW VVER units. Engineering and survey work started at the site in 2011.
Major construction is expected to begin in March 2018. The $20-billion project is to be financed by Russian investors, with 93% from a Rosatom subsidiary. Up to 49% of shares may be sold later to other investors. Potential investors are Turkish companies Park Teknik and Elektrik Üretim.
Turkish Electricity Trade and Contract Corporation (TETAS) has guaranteed the purchase of 70% power generated from the first two units and 30% from the third and fourth units over a 15-year power purchase agreement. Electricity will be purchased at a price of 12.35 US cents per kW·h and the remaining power will be sold in the open market by the producer.
From 2023 to 2030, Turkey plans to build three nuclear power plants, which will provide 10 percent of the country’s domestic electricity.
Turkey’s Nuclear Power ambitions have always been a nightmare for Greece and Cyprus. Not only because their arch rival would obtain nuclear energy but also due to the fear of an accident due to seismic activity.