Turkey’s 1st nuke plant may be completed by 2023
DHA PhotoThe positive environmental impact analysis of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant may be taken at the beginning of 2014, then the plant’s four units completed by 2023, said that plant’s Vice President Rauf Kasumov, yesterday to Anadolu Agency.
“Turkey and Russia aim to complete the plant by 2023. And this will be happen,” he said.
An environmental report (ÇED) by Rosatom, which the Turkish authorities require, is expected to be resubmitted to the Environment Ministry soon, months behind the planned schedule.
“We have taken the first questions about the ÇED from the ministry. After we translate all the documents, we’ll send them to Moscow, and then we’ll work on these questions. All of the questions are submitting to us part by part, but we have asked for these questions to be sent altogether to shorten the process,” he said.
He also added they will start working to take construction licenses and power generation licenses.
Without environmental approval, the company cannot launch tenders for an estimated 8 billion worth of subcontracts.
The nuclear power plant may be delayed by at least a year, a source close to the plans said to Reuters last week, as bureaucratic hurdles hamper the $20 billion project.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been an advocate of the country’s ambitious nuclear program, meant to help reduce its dependence on costly hydrocarbon imports by providing 10 percent of its electricity needs by 2023.
1st unit already behind schedule
But Turkey’s first planned 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant, being built by Russia’s Rosatom, is already falling behind schedule, with the first reactor unlikely to be operational by 2019 as planned.
“Production in 2019 is not possible. 2020 is more likely,” one source close to the project told Reuters, noting a nuclear reactor on this scale would need a test period of at least six to 12 months before it could be fully operational.
“Bureaucrats are working for your and our safety” said Kasumov, adding the Akkuyu plant wouldn’t be the first plant that Rosatom built.
“Many people are surprised when I say the first concrete will be laid in 2016. As some part of the plant is planned to be under the surface, some underground construction will take two years, requiring the shipment of at least 15 million cubic meters of soil,” he said.
Kasumov noted some three companies and institutions made seismic and hydrologic examinations in the field; one of them is Kandilli Earthquake Observatory.
“All of them have submitted almost the same data, showing the field was very safe in terms of earthquake possibilities. This is very good for us. We can build the plant with peace in mind,” he said.
According to the intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Russia on the construction of the nuclear plant, a project company was established in 2011 in the form of a joint stock company, the shares of which are initially 100 percent owned directly or indirectly by the companies authorized by the Russian side. Pursuant to the agreement, the Russian share will not be less than 51 percent at any time.