On the Akkuyu NPP project

TAGS: Letter to the editor

Dear editor,

We would like to draw your kind attention to information provided on your newspaper. The assumptions being given about the Akkuyu NPP project do not reflect the actual situation. And on behalf of Rosatom let me deliver Rosatom’s statement on this point.

Akkuyu NPP project has been in visible progress both in terms of construction works on site and required administrative developments. Akkuyu NPP construction is underway according to the planned mode and the approved schedule. Since the start of NPP project implementation large-scale work has been carried out to prepare the site and to license the construction work. An Environment Impact Assessment report was prepared. This is a document consisted of 5.5 thousand pages which investigated the impact of a nuclear power plant on the area of its presence – environment, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, localization of production, fisheries, and much more. To shape a site terrain for the construction during preparatory works more than 20 million cubic meters of rocky soil were extracted and processed. Moreover, Turkish Parliament on June 2016 adopted amendments to three laws that affected obtaining licenses and permits for the construction start.

We can highlight full-scale work is undergoing on the site nowadays. Foundation slab of Unit 1 reactor building was completed in March this year, in full compliance with IAEA safety standards and national requirements in Turkey. In late autumn 2018 a limited work permit for Unit 2 was obtained, and the works are in progress already. At the next stage, Akkuyu Nuclear company expects to receive Unit 2 main construction license, and to start concreting the Unit 2 foundation slab. The construction works have been completed at “Eastern” Cargo Terminal that will be a hub for shipping heavy components to site. Now we are expecting the operation permit from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. At the same time, we already started production of equipment for the future NPP. For instance, our Russian facilities (The Volgodonsk Branch of AEM-technology JSC, a part of Rosatom machine-building division – “Atomenergomash”) has manufactured a bottom of a reactor pressure vessel for Akkuyu NPP Unit 1.

In a separate development, Akkuyu Nuclear has prepared and submitted to TAEK the package of documents for Unit 3 in order to obtain the construction license and permits.

Meanwhile, Rosatom continues to educate personnel for the future plant. By March 2018, 35 Turkish specialists had completed a 6.5-year education program and successfully defended their graduation diploma. Today all of them are employed by AKKUYU NUCLEAR to take part in the implementation of the first NPP in Turkey. A second group of Turkish students (over 50 new specialists) graduated from the NRNU MEPhI in Moscow in February this year. They also received job offers from AKKUYU NUCLEAR, expecting the new group of the Turkish young nuclear specialists to join the company in May this year already.

We also would like to provide clarification on an assumption of using NPP nuclear technologies or components for any purposes other than NPP construction, including those mentioned in your publication.

Neither a nuclear power plant, nor any of its technological components or solutions applied can be used in any other purpose, but the purpose of an NPP construction – which is electric power generation. All the works within nuclear energy projects implementation, construction of NPPs – in any country of the world – are subject to strict regulatory approvals by national authorities and are carried out under supervision of such authorities, as well as they are subject to agreement and supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that all together excludes any unauthorized or inappropriate use of buildings, technologies, components, equipment or technological solutions applied.

For instance, over the project implementation time the Akkuyu project site welcomed over 10 inspections and supervisory visits from various authorities and organizations, including IAEA.

All the project works and developments are carried in close coordination with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency, other specialized authorities, and under IAEA supervision.

Any inappropriate use of Akkuyu NPP being constructed under the Intergovernmental agreement and in full compliance with the authorization documents, permits and licenses granted by the Republic of Turkey would be a violation of the law and of the effective international agreements and nuclear safety conditions.

Thus, any other application of NPP technologies or components is not possible. NPP is a facility of peaceful use of nuclear energy and cannot be transformed in full or in any part into objects for any other use, including for military.

From a technical point, for your reference, low-enriched uranium is used for nuclear fuel production which means that it cannot be used for producing weapons of any kind. Both Russia and Turkey are part of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Faithful discharge of international obligations underlies the cooperation of our countries with the International Atomic Energy Agency. This is also a fundamental principle of international activities of the countries in international sphere.

Summing up we would like to note that media in general is very powerful and important source of information. Especially in nuclear sector clouded by myths and prejudices. In this sense facts and objective information are vital to the public’s perception of a nuclear power project. That’s why we strongly stand for giving as much objective, fact-based and reliable information as we can to let people know about the safety features of Akkuyu NPP, its safe ecological characteristics, social benefits, current status of the construction phase etc.

We are open to dialogue with all people and media who are interested in the Akkuyu NPP project. In this sense, with all the respect we ask you to correct the inaccurate information and publish the current status of the Project described above.

Roman Ryabchikov

PR manager at Rosatom Middle East and North Africa