A ground-breaking ceremony for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant was be held in the southern province of Mersin on Tuesday.
The power plant will be built by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency Rosatom and will comprise four units each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.
In the first phase of construction, two units are planned with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts. The plant, with a total investment cost of about $20 billion, will have a working life of 8,000 hours per year.
According to preliminary evaluations, 35-40% of the plant’s construction could be undertaken by Turkish companies potentially providing added value to the economy by about $6-$8 billion.
The Akkuyu power plant will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will cover more than 10% of Turkey’s electricity needs, or equivalent to the electricity demand of Istanbul.
The plant has an operational date set for the first reactor by 2023 while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.
During the peak period of the plant’s construction, about 10,000 people will be employed, while approximately 3,500 people will be provided with job opportunities in the operation phase.
Moreover, 248 Turkish students were educated in Russia to work at the plant. Thirty-five of these students graduated last month after 6.5 years of education.
An intergovernmental agreement to construct Akkuyu was signed between Russia and Turkey in 2010.
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Anadolu Agency one day before the ground-breaking ceremony: “Our company was waiting for a construction license and now we have received information that permission will be given”.
The grant comes a day before a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Ankara, where Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also attend a ceremony to officially launch Akkuyu’s first unit.
Ankara-Antalya News Agency