Work begins next year on $20bn Turkey nuclear station

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 in the country’s southeast.

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

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

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.

Preparatory work, including engineering surveys and excavation of over 650 sq m, have already been carried out based on a limited construction permit issued in June.

“By the end of this year,” Rosatom said, “the construction of the concrete base of the foundation slabs of the reactor and turbine buildings is expected to start. The foundation slabs will then be reinforced.”

The plant will then be ready for the official start of construction, which is the pouring of the first safety-related concrete, the foundation slab.

With the construction of unit 4, Akkuyu will become the largest nuclear construction site in the world, Rosatom said, with four large reactors under construction at the same time.

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.