Turkey green lights last reactor for $20bn Akkuyu nuclear power station

The site of the Akkuyu nuclear station on the Mediterranean coast (Voice of America/Public Domain)
The Nuclear Regulatory Council of Turkey has given the go-ahead for the construction of a fourth reactor at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Mersin Province, southeast Turkey.

The unit will be built by Akkuyu Nuclear, a subsidiary of Russian nuclear engineer Rosatom, and will be the final phase of the $20bn project.

Anastasia Zoteeva, the general manager of Akkuyu, said obtaining the construction licence for the unit was a “crucial step”.

“Now we are ready to start the works at the entire fourth power unit. At the beginning of the next year, we will start constructing the foundation plates of the nuclear island buildings,” she said.

The agreement to build a nuclear plant at Akkuyu, signed in May 2010, envisaged four VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 4.8GW, equal to about 10% of Turkey’s average demand. Work on the third unit began in March (see further reading).

Russia is responsible for financing, designing, building, maintaining and operating the plant, and will also decommission it at the end of its 60 year service life.

The approval process required 120 licences and permits from Turkish government agencies. These include the environmental impact assessment, the electricity generation licence and a number of power unit construction licences.

Rosatom ranks third worldwide in terms of nuclear power generation, and holds the world’s largest portfolio of foreign construction projects.

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