In pictures: Inner dome in place as Akkuyu aims for 2023

06 January 2023

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia's Vladimir Putin discussed progress on building Turkey's first nuclear power plant as the latest landmark saw the inner containment dome installed in the design position at Akkuyu unit 1.

The dome being lifted by a Liebherr LR 13000 crane (Image: Akkuyu Nuclear)

Turkey's President Erdoğan was reported by Russia's official Tass news agency to have told his Russian counterpart during their phone call that "the construction of the Akkuyu NPP is proceeding at a rapid pace. Its first power unit will be launched this year. In the coming year, we will start supplying our country with nuclear energy".

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant, in the southern Mersin province, is Turkey's first. Rosatom is building four VVER-1200 reactors, under a so-called BOO (build-own-operate) model. Construction of the first unit began in 2018, with startup planned for 2023. The 4800 MWe plant is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs.

According to Akkuyu Nuclear, the company set up to build the plant, the Turkey-Russia intergovernmental agreement says the first unit should be commissioned within seven years of obtaining all construction approvals and licences, which happened in 2018. Although that sets out the possibility of a 2025 timeline, "the project stakeholders are making their best efforts to complete the construction of the first power unit and ensure its readiness for commissioning tests in 2023", which is the centenary of the founding to the Turkish Republic.

Earlier this week, a key moment was reached with the installation of the 215-tonne internal containment (IC) dome. According to Akkuyu Nuclear, "after concreting the dome part of the IC the final stage of construction and installation works of the outer containment will begin".

An overhead shot of the dome before it was installed in the design position (Image: Akkuyu Nuclear)

Akkuyu Nuclear CEO Anastasia Zoteeva said: "2022 was not an easy year, but very successful and productive. As planned, on the eve of the New Year, we completed the installation of the internal containment dome; this is an important stage in the construction of the first power unit. I am grateful to the whole team ... we are getting closer to the key event of the next year - the delivery of fresh nuclear fuel to the Akkuyu NPP site. We still have to install the outer containment and perform other acceptance work before completing the construction of the first unit for the centenary of the Republic of Turkey."

The dome is lifted high during the process (Image: Akkuyu Nuclear)

The process is completed with the dome in place (Image: Akkuyu Nuclear)

Researched and written by World Nuclear News