"Zero Background Measurement" program event took place at Akkuyu NPP construction site

November 10, 2022, Büyükeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey. A "zero" background radiation measurement event took place at the Akkuyu NPP construction site. AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC specialists as well as representatives of Gidrotekhproekt and Assystem ENVY Enerji ve Çevre Yatırımları A.Ş., companies which perform Akkuyu NPP site parameters monitoring activities, participated in the event.

The "zero" background measurement program which results will be a starting point for regular radiation background measurement at the Akkuyu NPP operation stage, is being implemented jointly with Gidrotekhproekt and overseen by Turkish regulatory authorities. Specialists replaced the air filtration unit filter to perform the analysis of the composition of natural radionuclides in the atmospheric air, as well as took soil samples in several places at the NPP construction site. Akkuyu NPP representatives and participants in the event commented on the measurement results.

"In June 2022, we started the surveys to determine the "zero background". They are related to the dose rate above the ground level. We conduct all measurements with representatives of Gidrotekhproekt, an expert organization in the field of hydrometeorological surveys. Completing all measurements and activities within the scope of the program, and obtaining the relevant findings from the Turkish regulator are scheduled for 2023. "Zero measurement" is a very important event, since the obtained data will lay the foundation for subsequent measurements. This data will be a benchmark for background radiation measurement at the site of the future nuclear power plant and around it. Such surveys will be conducted over the whole NPP operation stage and after its decommissioning. All the mentioned works are performed in accordance with regulatory documents and directives of the IAEA," pointed out Tatiana Makarchuk, Advisor to Deputy Director of the NPP under Construction – Chief Technology Officer of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC.

Sergey Yakovlev, Deputy Chief Engineer of Gidrotekhproekt: "The main objective of radiation monitoring at the pre-commissioning phase is to measure natural radionuclides and gamma rays within the NPP construction premises. In other words, it is a measurement of zero background parameters in the nuclear power plant area. Gidrotekhproekt assesses the radionuclide distribution, analyses samples and submits the survey results jointly with leading domestic and foreign companies. One of the phases is ground air sampling. Air filter fabric which will be sent to the laboratory upon replacement is used for this purpose.

Merve Acirli, Project Manager of Assystem ENVY Enerji ve Çevre Yatırımları A.Ş.: "Assystem has been conducting radiological monitoring, and geodynamic, hydrological and hydrogeological surveys at the Akkuyu NPP site since 2011. We gather air, soil, ground- and surface-water, fish, tree and plant samples to measure the background natural radiation level at the site before the nuclear power plant start-up. Upon NPP commissioning regular measurements of the background radiation will also be conducted, as required by the Turkish laws and IAEA rules"

For reference:

"Gidrotekhproekt is a company established by hydrology specialists in 2007. It is the largest Russian company in the field of hydrometeorological surveys. The company performs surveys and environmental monitoring activities at industrial enterprises and large infrastructure facilities, including Leningrad NPP, Kalinin NPP, Smolensk NPP, Balakovo NPP, Kursk NPP and other nuclear power plants in Russia.

ASSYSTEM ENVY Enerji ve Çevre Yatırımları A.Ş. is a company that has over 20 years of experience in engineering-and-geological, meteorological and other surveys. In 2017, it became part of Assytem, an international engineering group. The company has been performing surveys and monitoring activities on various parameters of the Akkuyu NPP site since 2011.

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