The laying of the foundation for the first reactor of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant (NPP) was completed on March 8, Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom said Thursday.
The achievement of laying more than 17,000 cubic meters of self-compacting concrete caste for the foundation slab marks a milestone for the Akkuyu NPP's construction, according to Rosatom's statement.
Construction of the exterior and interior walls of the reactor building will be the next operational stage for the first unit, while construction of concrete bases for the auxiliary reactor building and the emergency control room building are simultaneously underway.
"Like all technological options used during the Akkuyu NPP construction, the concreting of the foundation slab of unit 1 meets all modern requirements of the world nuclear community, IAEA's [International Atomic Energy Agency] safety standards, and both international and national requirements of the Republic of Turkey," said Anastasia Zoteeva, chief executive officer of the project developer company Akkuyu Nuclear.
Currently, 70 percent of the power plant's entire site is ready, and the remaining will be finished by the end of the year. Under the "limited work permit," which the company obtained in November 2018, the engineering studies paperwork for the second reactor is already in progress.
Zoteeva explained that the company expects to obtain the main construction license for unit 2, after which the foundation slab will be laid. The company is already preparing the necessary documentation to obtain the construction license for the third reactor.
Rosatom is constructing Turkey's first nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin. Work at the Akkuyu NPP started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russia on May 12, 2010. Construction of the plant started on April 3 last year at 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, which consists of 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 in 2023, while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.