AKKUYU NUCLEAR holds open doors day at the NPP construction site

December 2, 2022, Büyükeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey – The first nuclear power plant construction project in the Republic of Turkey welcomed everyone once again. Within the scope of the Open Doors Day arranged by AKKUYU NUCLEAR, project managers spoke about the project’s status, the most important construction phases completed during the year, as well as answered questions from the Internet audience in an online format, which is unique for nuclear power plant construction projects. Young Turkish engineers working at the Akkuyu NPP construction site showed main construction facilities including power units, hydraulic engineering structures, fuel storage facilities and much more to the live broadcast audience. 

About 1 000 participants from Mersin, Ankara, Istanbul, Bodrum, Konya, Bursa, Trabzon, Izmir and many other Turkish cities joined the live broadcast, which was hosted by Oylum Talu, a famous TV anchor. Young AKKUYU NUCLEAR professionals - Turkish nuclear engineers, who received specialized education in Russia and joined AKKUYU NUCLEAR team to work at the Project, were present in the live broadcast streaming studio.

AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Chief Executive Officer Anastasia Zoteeva addressed the audience with a welcome speech. She noted that fresh fuel delivery for Unit 1, a historic event for the Project, is scheduled for 2023, the year which marks the centenary of the Republic of Turkey. "Akkuyu NPP ensures the country's technological development and strengthens its energy security of supply. The NPP means predictable electricity tariffs that do not depend on fluctuations in oil and gas prices; it means thousands of jobs at the NPP itself and in other industries, it means job orders for the local industry, growth in services, tourism, and many more. Stable economic development of Mersin province and the entire Eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey is assured for many decades to come," added Ms. Zoteeva.

Dmitry Romanets, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Deputy Director for the NPP under Construction, who was in the studio during the live streaming, spoke about the key construction phases over the past year, and answered video questions from the audience, which were selected by random sampling from the hundreds of questions sent to the event website. Mr. Romanets noted that the construction and installation works on Akkuyu NPP Unit 1 were undergoing their final phase, while construction and installation operations on Units 2, 3 and 4 were being performed as planned. According to Dmitry Romanets, nuclear power plant construction site is increasing its production capacity: this year an air duct workshop, a pipe shop and a temporary desalination complex have been commissioned.

During the event, two Turkish nuclear engineers - Leading Specialist of the NPP Safety Inspection Department Ozlem Arslan, and Pump Unit Operator of the Onshore Hydraulic Engineering Structures Burak Peksen, conducted a video tour at the site. The audience joined them to visit the main points of the construction site, where they could see the unprecedented scale of construction work, as well as learned about the site characteristics, processes and operating principles of the nuclear power plant.

The audience saw the construction areas of all four NPP units, and visited the reactor compartment and the turbine building of Unit 1. The young engineers, acting as tour guides, also showed the onshore hydraulic engineering structures, through which the sea water will circulate and cool down main NPP equipment, fresh nuclear fuel storage facility building and the power output system facilities, through which the NPP will be switched to the interconnected power grid of the Republic of Turkey via power transmission lines.

Ahmet Yasin Oner, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Leading Specialist of Commercial Operators Group, joined video tour guides. He spoke about Novovoronezh town (Voronezh Region, Russia) that is located near the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant, where reference power units for the project in Turkey equipped with VVER-1200 reactors are operated. Stable economic development, new jobs, strict environmental control, and developed tourism are just some of the numerous advantages of such a neighborhood.

In addition to the site tour, the floor was given to the Turkish students engaged in the Akkuyu NPP operating personnel training program. Fifth-year students of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI spoke about nuclear training:  just like Russian nuclear specialists, Turkish citizens are taught the principles of NPP design and operation and provided with practical training at nuclear power plants under operation, and upon passing exams they are guaranteed to be employed at Akkuyu NPP.

District governors in the Akkuyu NPP site region, Gulnar, Silifke and Aydıncık, also participated in the Open Doors Day broadcast. They noted the role Akkuyu NPP plays in the development of economy, infrastructure and entrepreneurship in the region.

"NPP construction project undoubtedly is of particular importance for us, especially from the economic and social point of view. Speaking specifically of Gulnar, the economic and trade growth driven by the project has made a significant positive contribution to the region's development over the last 5 years. The establishment of construction camps in Gulnar District, particularly in the village of Büyükeceli, has contributed to the district population growth and, consequently, stimulated the growth of entrepreneurship," said Gulnar District Governor Musa Ayyıldız.

Silifke District Governor Abdullah Aslaner mentioned domestic and socio-cultural aspects of the inflow of foreign specialists to the region: "A substantial number of people employed at the Akkuyu NPP project reside in Taşucu; Silifke, the district capital; and even in Atakent located further away. Since the project employees move here from all over Turkey, we have witnessed substantial social changes that have impact on the housing, catering and other aspects of social life. It is important that the locals do not perceive newcomers as a burden to the region or as outlanders, but as an extension of economic development opportunities. As a result, both sides benefit, and the integration process is quite intensive and painless. We can see this exemplified by public order: there is no increase in the relevant violations".

Aydıncık District Governor Muhammet Kılıçarslan noted the role of Akkuyu NPP project in increasing the employment level: "The district’s youth population needs access to new employment opportunities. Today we can see that the nuclear power plant is bringing about substantial positive changes compared to previous years in the fields of tourism and urbanization, as it provides employment for the youth as well as creates conditions for an inflow of people from other parts of Turkey and from abroad. There are about 11 300 people living in our district. Moreover, almost half of our population is youth people. Akkuyu NPP offers great employment opportunities, especially for youth people”.

At the end of the broadcast, Mr. Romanets spoke about a unique career guidance project for children of the employees working at Akkuyu NPP project. During its spare time, project management conducts children tours to the nuclear power plant construction site, thus stimulating schoolchildren's interest in construction and engineering professions and helping them to choose their profession. "Twice a month we show construction site to the children, let them sit in the cabin of the world's largest construction crane, let them paint the wall located next to the offices. It is crucial that when the children are home, when parents talk about their work, they imagine where it is really happening and what their parents actually do. You should see the emotions it arouses in children, and how their eyes light up. It is particularly true, since the tours are being conducted for them by the best construction site guides – the Construction Directorate’s management," said Dmitry Romanets.

Full version of the Akkuyu Open Doors Day online recording will soon be available on the official AKKUYU NUCLEAR YouTube account.


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