Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant
|Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant|
|Official name||Akkuyu Nükleer Güç Santrali A.Ş.|
|Construction began||Unit 1: April 3, 2018|
|Commission date||2022 (scheduled)|
|Construction cost||$20 billion USD|
|Owner(s)||Akkuyu NGS Elektrik Üretim A.Ş.|
|Nuclear power station|
|Cooling source||Mediterranean Sea|
|Make and model||VVER-1200/392M|
|Units under const.||1 × 1114 MW|
|Units planned||3 × 1114 MW|
|Thermal capacity||4 × 3200 MWth (planned)|
|Nameplate capacity||4456 MW (planned)|
The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (Turkish: Akkuyu Nükleer Güç Santrali) is a nuclear power plant under development at Akkuyu, in Büyükeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey. It will be the country's first nuclear power plant.
In May 2010, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement that a subsidiary of Rosatom — Akkuyu NGS Elektrik Uretim Corp. (APC: Akkuyu Project Company) — would build, own, and operate a power plant at Akkuyu comprising four 1,200 MW VVER units. The agreement was ratified by the Turkish Parliament in July 2010. Engineering and survey work started at the site in 2011.
In 2013, Russian nuclear construction company Atomstroyexport (ASE) and Turkish construction company Ozdogu signed the site preparation contract for the proposed Akkuyu nuclear power plant. The contract includes excavation work at the site.
The official launch ceremony took place in April 2015. Major construction started in March 2018, and the first unit is expected to become operational in 2023. The other three units are expected to be complete by 2025.
Financing is provided by Russian investors, with 93% from a Rosatom subsidiary. Up to 49% of shares may be sold later to other investors. Potential investors are Turkish companies Park Teknik and Elektrik Üretim.
Turkish Electricity Trade and Contract Corporation (TETAS) has guaranteed the purchase of 70% power generated from the first two units and 30% from the third and fourth units over a 15-year power purchase agreement. Electricity will be purchased at a price of 12.35 US cents per kW·h and the remaining power will be sold in the open market by the producer.
The most important objection is that Büyükeceli and the surrounding coastline may lose its touristic potential after the realization of the project. Büyükeceli residents are also worried that the already low population of the town may further decrease and the town may lose its township status. However, the president of the township's commercial counsel Alper Gursoy also added that nuclear energy is necessary for Turkey's economy and that the construction of such a large plant may benefit the town economically.
On 17 April 2011 a human chain was formed in Mersin to protest the decision. It was planned that there would be 30 locations to form chains along the highway connecting Mersin to Akkuyu. But the participation was higher than the expected and several of these chains were merged with. The east end of the chain was in Mersin midtown and it reached some 20 kilometres (12 mi) west along the highway uninterrupted. Also the settlements at the west including the district centers of Silifke and Erdemli as well as Büyükeceli, the town nearest to construction site participated. "The earthquake and tsunami in Japan proved how dangerous nuclear technology is," said Sabahat Aslan, a spokesperson for the Mersin Anti-Nuclear Platform. “We organized this protest to say ‘no’ to nuclear power plants, which will put future generations in danger.”
On 12 January 2015, it was reported that the signatures of specialists on a government-sanctioned environmental impact report had been forged. The specialists had resigned six months prior to its submission, and the contracting company had then made unilateral changes to the report. The revelation sparked protest in North Nicosia. The construction of the Akkuyu plant is controversial in Cyprus, due to its close proximity to the island.
Construction stoppage rumors
On 9 December 2015, the news agency Reuters reported that Rosatom stopped construction work at the power plant and that Turkey was assessing other potential candidates for the project. But Rosatom and the Turkish Energy and Natural Resource Ministry promptly refuted the statement. Despite tensions mounted between Russia and Turkey, due to the Turkish downing of Russian Airplane on November 24 (2015), Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the decision to continue is purely a commercial one. A source told RIA Novosti that the company set up to construct the nuclear plant continued its operations in Turkey.
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