Five years after breaking ground on the first unit of Türkiye’s first nuclear power plant (NPP), Akkuyu, the country is now counting down the days to the delivery of the first fresh nuclear fuel to the plant site.
The Akkuyu plant located in the southern province of Mersin will become a nuclear power facility after the delivery of the first nuclear fuel to the plant site on April 27.
Construction works are still ongoing, but once the nuclear fuel arrives on site, pretesting and preparatory work for the deployment of the first unit out of a total of four reactor units will take place. The remaining three units will be operational at a rate of one per year.
Upon completion, the plant will have four VVER-1200 power reactors with a total installed capability of 4,800 megawatts.
Fuel rods will be brought to Türkiye for electricity generation in the first one and a half years of the plant’s operation. The electricity produced from the fuel rods’ heat will be equivalent to the energy obtained from 124,500 wagons of coal, preventing a total of 2.1 billion tons of carbon emissions in the 60 years of the plant’s operational life.
The facility will generate 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and meet about 10% of the country’s power consumption.
The plant, which will have an estimated 60 years of service life with an option for an extension of another 20 years, will produce carbon-free energy around the clock.
After the plant is fully operational, approximately 4,000 people are expected to be employed.
An intergovernmental agreement for the plant was signed between Türkiye and Russia in May 2010. The plant’s groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 3, 2018, after which construction started on the first unit.
Construction of the second unit began on April 8, 2020, and the first batch of concrete for the third unit was poured on March 10, 2021.
The site, which is considered one of the largest NPP construction sites in the world, entered its peak construction phase when the foundation was laid for the fourth and last unit on July 21 last year.
Approximately 30,000 people were employed on the site during the most active project phase.