Akkuyu still in bureaucracy

Akkuyu still in bureaucracy

In September 2017, the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak held a meeting with Russian state-owned atomic energy company Rosatom Director-General Alexey Likhachev one day before Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Ankara in late September. The meeting resulted in an agreement to speed up bureaucratic procedures and start construction at Akkuyu in the southern province of Mersin.

Albayrak said that no bureaucratic hurdles stand in the way of the Akkuyu project, adding that construction should begin before the end of this year after the necessary procedures have been accelerated.

Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş., 49 percent of which belongs to the Turkish consortium CKK and 51 percent to Rosatom, has begun to lay the groundwork for the first unit, which has a capacity of 200 megawatts (MWs).

Up to now, Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. received only a limited construction permit (LCP) from the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK), marking the first step in efforts to obtain a construction license. The LCP allows for the launching of construction and installation works at all of the nuclear power plant’s facilities with the exception of buildings and structures important for nuclear safety.

The officers of TAEK’s Nuclear Safety Department will proceed with evaluations and the inspection of work progress at the site before compiling a report which evaluates the construction license application. If the examination is deemed positive, TAEK will issue a construction license to Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. which will allow for the construction of all buildings of the nuclear power plant and installation of all systems without any restrictions.

The plant will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually once completed, and a service life of 60 years. Minister Albayrak hopes that construction of the plant will be fully completed in 2023, marking the centennial of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.

With Turkey’s energy imports amounting to roughly $55 billion annually and its energy demand among the fastest growing in Europe, Ankara aims for at least 5 percent of its electricity generation to come from nuclear energy in less than a decade, cutting dependency on natural gas largely bought from Russia.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.