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Putin and Erdogan launch construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant's 3rd unit in Turkey

The Russian president took part in the ceremony via a video conference

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have launched the pouring of "first concrete" for the third unit of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Turkey, which means the actual start of the unit's construction on Wednesday.

The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in the Turkish province of Mersin on the Mediterranean shore is being built by the state corporation Rosatom. President Putin took part in the ceremony to inaugurate the construction of the third unit of the Akkuyu NPP via a video conference.

The head of Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, was present on Wednesday at the NPP construction site. He noted that that day the construction venue became the largest nuclear construction site in the world. "The project is truly unique. At the moment, the Akkuyu nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear construction venue on the planet. Starting today, three power units are being fully built here at the same time," Likhachev said at the ceremony. He also noted that despite the tough restrictions caused by quarantine measures, "we managed to organize the processes so that the construction did not stop for a single day. In particular, this was achieved through the support of the Turkish authorities, which, among other things, helped rotate staff involved in the construction of the Turkish nuclear power plant." According to Likhachev, a melt trap will be installed at the third power unit by the end of this year. Also, work continues for the construction of the first and second power units.

Staff for Turkish nuclear industry

The implementation of the Akkuyu NPP project will give Turkey a major impetus for the development of nuclear industry, Vladimir Putin said.

"A strong impetus will be given to the development of a fundamentally new industry in Turkey - the nuclear power industry, strengthening of domestic research and production potential and creation of extra jobs," the Russian leader said.

A training center for the technical staff of the future plant is operating at the Akkuyu NPP and nuclear power engineers undergo training in Russian higher educational institutions, Putin added. "More than one hundred Turkish students are now being trained in Russia, who will be employed at the Akkuyu NPP later," the president noted.

Support for Akkuyu NPP

An agreement was reached with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan to continue supporting the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project in Turkey, Vladimir Putin informed.

"Mr. Erdogan and I attach great importance to this project and it was agreed with the president of Turkey to continue providing required assistance and support for the Akkuyu project," Putin said.

The construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant is governed by an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia and Turkey in May 2010. A specially created company, Akkuyu Nukler, over 99% of which is owned by Rosatom, is responsible for the construction. The Akkuyu NPP will consist of four power units with a capacity of 1,200 MW each. After completion of the construction, the power plant will generate about 35 bln kWh per year.

The construction of the first unit of the Akkuyu NPP began in April 2018; the construction of the second unit started in June 2020. Rosatom has already submitted documents to obtain a license for the construction of the fourth and last unit of the power plant to the Turkish regulatory authorities. As previously reported by the first deputy head of Rosatom, director for development and international business of the state corporation Kirill Komarov, a license for the construction of the fourth unit of the Akkuyu NPP can be obtained by the fall of 2021. The first unit of the Akkuyu NPP is planned to be commissioned by the 100th anniversary of the republic, in 2023. Visiting Ankara in 2018, Putin noted that he would try to take part in the ceremony of commissioning the first power unit of the Akkuyu NPP.