Nuclear Power is a Critical Component of Sustainable Development
Turkey is one of the countries feeling the effects of climate change. Droughts, floods and weather extremes have recently become particularly strong, damaging forest, water and land resources, and consequently affecting economic and social aspects of life in the country.
By signing the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016 and ratifying it in October 2021, Turkey committed to achieve a 21 percentage point reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the BAU (Business as usual) baseline emission scenario by 2030.
The commissioning of the Akkuyu NPP, being the first NPP in the country, as a low-carbon generation facility will help reduce total emissions in Turkey owing to replacing electrical power generation by other carbon-intensive generation types – based on coal and gas.
Low-Carbon Energy for Sustainable Growth
Nuclear power plants are a stable source of generation producing electric power daily, regardless of the season, weather and other external conditions for at least 60 years. The Akkuyu NPP commissioning will ensure adding a significant amount of stable electrical power to the country’s energy mix - 35 billion kWh annually. This amount is sufficient to provide about 90% of electricity for such a large city as Istanbul. The most powerful and multipath power output system in Turkey is being created - the total length of Akkuyu NPP high-voltage power output lines will exceed 1,000 km.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
At the end of 2019, the volume of greenhouse gas emissions in Turkey was estimated at 506.1 million tons of CO2 equivalent. The Akkuyu NPP operation will prevent an average of 18 million tons of CO2 equivalent* emissions owing to replacement of generation by other generation sources (hydrocarbon).
Social and Economic Effects of the Akkuyu Project
The Akkuyu NPP project is one of the largest foreign investments in Turkey. The expected contribution of the project to Turkey's GDP over the entire NPP life cycle will amount to tens of billions of US dollars.
The NPP project promotes investment potential of the project area’s economy, new opportunities for development of the local business and respective increase in tax payments.
Localization, that is involvement of local manufacturers and service providers in the Akkuyu NPP project, creates a multifactorial positive effect for the local economy and for Turkey as a whole, fosters development of local industries and new skills and competencies, creates demand for engineering and other technical occupations. As of the end of 2021, over 400 Turkish companies are included in the project suppliers list regularly updated by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey and AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC.
For overall coordination of the Akkuyu NPP localization activities, there is a Localization Workgroup established in 2019 that involves representatives of JSC REIN, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC, TİTAN2 IC İÇTAŞ İNŞAAT ANONİM ŞİRKETİ and other project stakeholders. The Workgroup interacts with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey and Turkish Standards Institution.
The Regulation on localization of materials supplies during the construction of the Akkuyu NPP facilities has been adopted and brought into effect at AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC. The content is added to the Localised Products Catalogue.
In 2020, a roadmap for localization of supplies for the Akkuyu NPP project was made presenting the range of localized products and services, the estimated cost and scopes of localized supplies. TİTAN2 IC İÇTAŞ İNŞAAT ANONİM ŞİRKETİ Joint Venture – the project general contractor - opened an office for the equipment supplies localization in Istanbul.
Safety is the key priority for the AKKUYU NPP project
The international community recognizes the need for a safe and reliable use of nuclear energy. As part of the Akkuyu NPP construction project, compliance with international conventions in the field of nuclear energy is ensured, including the Convention on Nuclear Safety the Republic of Turkey joined in 1994.
JSC AKKUYU NUCLEAR acts in accordance with Turkish law and international safety requirements ensuring comprehensive regulation of activities in the field of nuclear energy use, including the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency of the Republic of Turkey (NDK) are taken into account, including in coordination with the ministries and authorities involved in the nuclear power programme of the Republic of Turkey.
For safety reasons, JSC AKKUYU NUCLEAR has implemented the management system that is governed by the Company’s Policy in terms of the Integrated Management System (IMS). The Policy has been developed pursuant to the requirements of the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) and put into effect in 2018. The Policy is based on the safety culture principles recognizing safety as the top priority for the company’s activities and its staff.
The design solutions underlying the protection systems of modern Russian-designed VVER-1200 reactors was presented in the Stress Test Report submitted to the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) for expert assessment of the Akkuyu NPP safety.
The technological maturity level of Russian nuclear industry makes it possible to attribute technological processes the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) goes through to handling and processing technologies. The established SNF handling system focuses on recycling and separation from SNF of materials that can be used in the secondary nuclear cycle.
The Akkuyu NPP project defines the strategy and plans for radioactive waste (RW) and spent nuclear fuel handling throughout the entire service life of the power units and at the decommissioning stage. The project provides for a full range of buildings and structures for collecting and processing liquid and gaseous radioactive media, collection, processing and storage of solid radioactive waste (SRW) generated during the plant operation. The Akkuyu NPP design and operational documentation provides for technical solutions and organizational measures to ensure safety when handling each category of RW.
Specific decisions on SNF handling for the Akkuyu NPP project will be made following a discussion with the Government of the Republic of Turkey, taking into account the environmental and economic aspects of the project. At the moment, the issue of waste disposal from the Akkuyu NPP is under discussion. The parties are considering several possible options. Once the negotiations are completed, the decisions reached will be formalized as a separate document.
All matters related to the nuclear power use, including SNF handling, are covered by international conventions and are under control by international organizations. The Republic of Turkey is a subject of international nuclear law and is a member of the UN, the IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Nuclear Exporters’ Committee (“Zangger Committee”).
Nuclear energy is one of the generation sources with a low level of greenhouse gas emissions, the use of which has a minimal impact on the environment.
At the operation phase, nuclear power plants cause almost no direct atmospheric air pollutant emissions, thus distinguishing themselves from thermal power plants using fossil fuels. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), greenhouse gas emissions throughout an NPP life cycle account for an average of 12 g of CO2-equivalent/kWh, slightly behind only onshore wind farms (11 g of CO2-equivalent/kWh) and remaining tenfold lower than during the use of coal and gas (820 and 490 g of CO2-equivalent/kWh, respectively).
AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC carries out its environmental protection efforts in line with the laws of the Republic of Turkey, international contracts and agreements of Turkey, the IAEA safety standards, international and national rules and standards for natural resource management, environmental protection, staff and public health protection.
At the Akkuyu NPP construction and operation stage, the conditions of terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna, marine life are monitored (at least two research cycles annually).
The species composition, number and density of populations (biomass), the current state of populations of rare and protected species, endemic, commercial, mass species and indicator species are kept under control.
The results of environmental monitoring are used to assess the current state of plant and animal populations, forecast and plan activities to conserve biodiversity and develop corrective actions. An environmental monitoring report is annually prepared and submitted to the regulatory authority of the Republic of Turkey, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NDK).
The ROSATOM’s unified industry values form the core of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC activities defining the rules and codes of conduct, principles for work performance, interaction and communication both within the Company and with Akkuyu NPP project stakeholders. AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC has developed, and operates under the Code of Corporate Ethics covering such matters as conflict of interest, anti-corruption, safety culture and occupational health, environmental protection, information security and confidentiality, non-discrimination, etc. AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC has the Ethics Board, there is the Ethics Commissioner, the Anti-Corruption Policy has been developed and brought into force.
Procurement activities for the Akkuyu NPP project are carried out in line with the ROSATOM Unified Industry Procurement Standard (UIPS), which reflects the requirements of the laws of the Russian Federation and international procurement practices and on the basis of which requirements are established for bidders and products to be procured.