Over 50 new Turkish specialists, receiving diplomas from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) of Russia's National Research Nuclear University (NRNU), commenced their work at Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, the Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom announced on Saturday.
The second group of Turkish students graduated from NRNU MEPhI in Moscow, Rosatom said in a statement, adding that a group of students from Vietnam and Mongolia have also obtained their diploma.
The students received training under programs related to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants and obtained their diploma during an official graduation ceremony in Moscow, attended by NRNU MEPhI Rector Mikhail Strikhanov, representatives of the Turkish embassy and other guests of honor.
"We will pursue our collaboration and you will continue joint work with MEPhI while working in your countries. I believe that we will welcome many of you as university professors, executives of the nuclear industry of your countries," Strikhanov was quoted as saying during the ceremony.
The graduates made the right choice to get their education from one of the leading Russian universities, Strikhanov continued, expressing his hope for further partnership.
Marina Karaseva, human resources director at Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, also extended greetings to the young specialists.
"Speaking Russian, you'll be able to directly learn from the experience of your Russian colleagues and mentors, but the most important thing is that you'll bring knowledge of state-of-the-art Russian nuclear technologies in the nuclear industries of your countries," she said.
She underlined that the graduates have learned a lot from the experienced university faculty. "We count on your active involvement in the implementation of the project of [the] construction of the first nuclear power plant in Turkey. Work at the NPP [Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant] has a lot of challenges for the extended period of time, much-needed profession and secure employment for many years," she noted.
Work at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russia on May 12, 2010. Under the terms of the agreement, the Russian side registered a project company, the Akkuyu Nuclear JSC (Akkuyu Nükleer Anonim Şirketi), in Turkey on Dec. 13, 2011.
The construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant was launched on April 3 last year through a groundbreaking ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin via a video conference call from the Beştepe Presidential Complex in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
Rosatom and participants will build the plant comprising four units, each of which has a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.
The plant will have a working life of 8,000 hours per year and will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.
The plant has an operational date for the first reactor set for 2023, while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.
Training of the staff for Akkuyu NPP in Russia was initiated in 2011. Last year, 35 students from Turkey graduated and received their diplomas with the "Nuclear power plants: Design, operation and engineering" specialization.
Following six and a half years in MEPhI, all graduates were hired by Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, according to Rosatom. The company said that now over 140 Turkish students continue their education in Russian universities "under the program of target preparation."
"All of us connect the future with the project of the NPP construction in Turkey. We ought to apply all knowledge and skills obtained and be useful for our country," one of the graduates, Gülben Yıldız, was quoted as saying.
"Practically all our neighboring countries have operating NPPs and Turkey highly needs nuclear power generation. Nuclear power plants are reliable and an environmentally friendly, clean source of energy and the Akkuyu NPP will be one of the safest in the world," she continued.