Open doors day held at Akkuyu NPP site in special format

December 3, 2021, Büyükeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey. – AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC held an Open Doors Day of the Akkuyu NPP construction site. Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, the event was held in an online format, which is unique for nuclear power plant construction projects.

Residents of Silifke, Erdemli and Gulnar, which are the settlements closest to the Akkuyu NPP construction site, took part in the event via video conference. More than 600 residents from many other Turkish cities, including Mersin, Ankara and Istanbul, watched the live online broadcast of the event. The broadcast was hosted by Oylum Talu, a well-known Turkish TV presenter.

AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC CEO Anastasia Zoteeva gave a welcome speech to kick-start the event. “I am happy to open the gates of the Akkuyu NPP to everyone who is interested in learning about the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant. This is one of the largest construction projects in the world. Four units are being constructed simultaneously, which is unprecedented.

 “Our nuclear power plant is safe, reliable and modern. It's being built by both Russian nuclear specialists, who have more than 75 years of experience in constructing such plants, and highly professional Turkish builders. Over 13,000 people are currently employed here, with more than 80% of them being Turkish citizens.

 “It’s really important to us that people feel involved in this project, particularly those who live nearby. Everything we do is for people. By improving the region’s welfare and securing the future of our children and grandchildren, the next generation of Turkish people will have a reliable, safe and clean supply of electricity for many years to come.”

During the event, two Turkish nuclear engineers – Ozlem Arslan, a leading specialist of the NPP safety inspection department and Ahmet Yasin Oner, a specialist of the electrical workshop – both of whom have obtained specialised training in Russia and have been working at the NPP for several years, conducted a virtual tour of the site. They demonstrated the unprecedented scale of the construction works, spoke in detail about the site’s features, including safety and environmental measures that have been taken, and shared their knowledge about how the nuclear power plant operates.

Participants were able to see the construction process of each of the four NPP units, the Eastern Sea Cargo Terminal, which serves as the project’s primary transportation and delivery hub and the construction base, where four concrete batching plants operate with a daily capacity of up to 3,000 cubic metres of concrete. The audience also saw the site where reinforced blocks are pre-assembled and heavy equipment is stored, and where all the main types of reinforcing products and metal structures required to build the walls and floors of the nuclear power plant’s buildings are produced.

The broadcast highlighted the unique facilities and innovative construction processes being used at the NPP. For instance, the viewers were able to see the construction of the offshore hydraulic engineering structures, where the foundation and the underground part of the pumping stations are being built. These are important components of the onshore hydraulic engineering structures system. The guides spoke in detail about how water will circulate to cool the plant and what will happen to seawater after it has been used.

In addition to the site tour, there was a live feed from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute) during the online broadcast. Turkish students, who are now in their final year of study, eagerly shared their impressions about the exciting and engaging educational process in one of the best Russian universities.

AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Director for Construction and Production Organisation Denis Sezemin answered the audience’s questions in the studio. He spoke about the construction status of Turkey's first nuclear power plant, employment, safety and the environmental credentials of the NPP. Those whose questions were selected during the broadcast will be awarded with souvenirs from AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC.

Participants of the online broadcast found the event very valuable.

Nurettin Kaynar, Head of Silifke Chamber of Industry and Trade: “We participated in the introductory session of the Open Doors Day. It was a great presentation. I would like to especially thank the authorities. We closely monitored the inspections carried out on-site and were always kept informed. Additionally, we saw that the NPP, as the region’s latest technology facility, is respectful to the environment and we feel that it will have no adverse effect on nature. The plant is clearly an asset to the local region and to Turkey as a whole.”

Hilal Matban, engineering student at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Energy Systems: “To be honest, I didn't realise this was such a huge project until I saw it live as part of Open Doors Day. It opened my eyes to the power of technology. I found Anastasia Zoteeva’s presentation very inspiring. Having a successful female engineer as the CEO of the project provides a great role model for students. Mrs. Özlem, NPP Safety Inspection Department Leading Specialist, and Mr. Ahmet, Specialist of the Electrical Unit, also gave excellent tours and explained everything in clear language. Although I am planning on working in solar energy after my studies, I am also very interested in nuclear. I’m now even dreaming of being part of such a project due to the plant's proximity to where I live. The Akkuyu NPP will facilitate access to energy for our country and people. It made me happy to have the opportunity to learn more about the plant and to hear such open presentations about how the plant is being constructed. Thank you to everyone who made the tour possible.”

Mehmet Osal ve Berk Yiğit Adıgüzel, engineering student at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Energy Systems: “During the virtual tour, the young engineers showed us the exciting areas at the construction site. The presence of female employees such as Anastasia Zoteeva and managers such as Denis Sezemin made the event even more interesting for me. We learned that when the power plant is operational, we will have one of the best nuclear power plant designs in the world. We saw the benefits that the plant will bring to the region. I beliveve that Akkuyu will be positive for the region and our country.”

Erdoğan Arslan, teacher at the Erdemli Ertuğrul Gazi Vocational High School: “It was definitely a very useful event. We had the opportunity to see the developments at Akkuyu with our own eyes. It was an inspiration for our students to see their peers studying in Russia. It was very informative. We heard about the donation made for the schools in Gülnar. In the coming days, we will visit the Mersin Information Centre with our students.”

A recording of the Open Doors Day broadcast is available online:

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