Russian funding increases for Turkish nuclear plant

A fresh injection of $1.39bn has been provided to the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey as construction of the plant draws closer.

Rosatom‘s subsidiary in Turkey, Akkuyu NGS, has started increasing its investments in the projects according to World Bulletin. Rosatom signed an agreement in 2011 to build and operate a four reactor nuclear power plant in Mersin province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, with the aim of having the plant fully-operational by the Turkish republic’s 100-year anniversary in 2023.
Company officials say that once the environmental evaluation report (CED) is approved, ground preparations and infrastructural investments will speed up in the construction of what will be Turkey’s first nuclear plant.

The Akkuyu NPP project is estimated to cost around $20bn and total of US$3.5bn worth of equipment is expected to be used in the construction process, of which US$1.8bn will be spent this year alone.

Funds received from Russia are expected to be used in building the infrastructure for the plant, in constructing roads, power lines, water pipelines, temporary housing and cranes.

If the project license is approved, the reactor construction is estimated to begin in 2016, and to be operational by 2020 with the entire plant being fully operational by 2023.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for the plant from a legal perspective.

On 7th February it was reported there will be a further delay of up to a year in the four decades old Akkuyu nuclear power plant project located in the province of Mersin on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The delay was put down to a failure by Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom to provide sufficient information in its environmental impact assessment report for Akkuyu.

The matter had been raised by Greenpeace who claimed in January that construction had begun on the nuclear power plant without proper authorization. According to the organization, Rosatom, claiming it was building a quarry, began construction on the plant without having obtained an environmental impact report or permission.

In a statement to Power Engineering International, Menent Avgin, Director of External Affairs with the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) explained the other complexities, which had been responsible for delays.

“The failure of several attempts to find a technical support organization for TAEK during the review and assessment of the construction license application was because of the rigid requirements of the Public Procurement Authority on non-technical issues and the failure of foreign companies to comply with them.”

“Up to now, no technical evaluation could be performed for determination of suitability of bidders, since most of them failed to satisfy prequalification stage requirements. Hence, TAEK has been permitted by government to procure the above mentioned services on its own conditions. Documents of new tender are under preparation with more flexible requirements, and will be announced soon.”

TAEK also expressed its satisfaction that aspects relating to suitability to withstand seismic events were on course.

“The seismicity of the region was a special focal point for both TAEK and the applicant since the seismic stability is always an important issue in Turkey. All available data by the time of submision of the Updated Site Report has been taken into account and assessed to determine the seismic hazard to the NPP to be built on the Akkuyu site. Data gathered has been found satisfactory by TAEK upon review of the report, and the applicant will submit the seismic parameters for NPP design to the approval of TAEK as the next step.”

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