Let’s build Akkuyu: what the first nuclear power plant in Turkey will give Russia

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The construction of the Akkuyu NPP will make a significant contribution to strengthening the energy security of Turkey and will help stimulate the further growth of its economyand will also provide consumers with inexpensive and environmentally friendly electricity. About it Vladimir Putin said during a ceremony marking the start of construction of power unit No. 3 of a nuclear power plant in the Turkish province of Mersin… At the same time, the construction of the last – fourth power unit should begin in 2022. Thus, the first nuclear power plant in Turkey should start working in 2023 – on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the republic. According to experts, the project is important not only from an economic and environmental point of view, but also politically. In particular, it strengthens relations between Moscow and Ankara, and also strengthens the position of the Russian Federation in the region.

Hit the buttons

A year after the start of the pandemic, the fight against coronavirus continues to hamper international diplomacy. To this day, politicians around the world have to abandon face-to-face meetings and rely on modern technology. The forced pause also persists in face-to-face contacts between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who are now deprived of the opportunity to look for ways to resolve the Syrian conflict together at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi or taste Russian ice cream, as was the case at the Max-2019 air show.

Against this background, it is not surprising that a ceremony marking the start of construction of power unit No. 3 of the Akkuyu NPP with the participation of the presidents of both countries was held in the format of a videoconference… Directly at the construction site were present the head of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Fatih Donmez, on whom the entire burden of responsibility fell for pressing the red button launch. The presidents were forced to admire this spectacle only through the monitors. AND, apparently, in order to feel the effect of presence, politicians even pressed an imaginary button on their tables

The construction of a nuclear power plant in the Mersin province, for which the state corporation “Rosatom” is responsible, remains one of the most important international projects for both countries. An intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Turkey was signed back in 2010. Akkuyu should start working in 2023 – on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the republic… A total of four power units with reactors with a total capacity of 4,800 MW, which will be able to produce up to 37 billion kWh of electricity annually, are envisaged at the site, Vladimir Putin noted during his speech. At the same time, the construction of the fourth power unit should begin in 2022, the Turkish leader said.

The implementation of the project will make a significant contribution to strengthening the energy security of Turkey, will help stimulate further growth of its economy, and will also provide consumers with inexpensive and environmentally friendly electricity, Vladimir Putin emphasized.… Moreover, the launch of a nuclear power plant will create a large number of new vacancies. Currently, over 100 Turkish students are receiving education in Russia, who will be employed at Akkuyu in the future, the Russian president said. Turkey expects that the power plant will create at least 4,000 jobs.

I would like to note that Rosatom, as a recognized leader in the field of “peaceful atom”, applies the most advanced engineering solutions during the construction of the plant., cost effective and reliable technology. At the same time, the highest safety standards and the most stringent environmental requirements are observed, the Russian leader added.

Mutual benefit

The Turkish leadership has big plans in the field of energy. They can be boiled down to two tracks: reducing energy imports and becoming a noticeable hub of European significance., Alexander Frolov, Deputy Director General of the Institute of National Energy, explained to Izvestia. Wherein, the construction of a nuclear power plant, he said, helps to solve both these problems

From the point of view of Russia, the Akkuyu station is another successful foreign project in the field of nuclear generation.… Our country is one of the few world leaders in this area, the expert is sure.

According to the Anadolu agency, almost 40% of the electricity generated in Turkey is produced from renewable sources, of which a third of the generated electricity comes from hydroelectric power plants, and the rest is from wind farms. At the same time, almost 35% of the country’s electricity is generated at coal-fired power plants, most of which run on imported materials, while their own gas-fired power plants generate less than 20% of the electricity produced, Natalya Milchakova, deputy head of Alpari IAC, reminded Izvestia.

According to her, The Akkuyu NPP will allow Turkey to solve several tasks at once to optimize its energy balance. First, increase the share of electricity generated from environmentally friendly sources and reduce the share of coal. Second, reduce dependence on coal imports from third countries… The Turkish national program for the development of nuclear energy assumes that by 2030 the share of energy generated at nuclear power plants will be 20%, which will significantly replace environmentally dirty coal fuel, which significantly increases greenhouse gas emissions, the expert added.

– Russia is helping Turkey, as one of the fastest growing countries, to meet its growing demand for energy resources. From an economic and environmental point of view, this cooperation is beneficial to both countries.: Rosatom also offers safe power reactors that have all the necessary certificates from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the main investor in the project is Rosatom, so Turkish taxpayers practically do not bear the cost of this construction, Natalia Milchakova explained.

In the future, the company will send its specialists to the constructed nuclear power plant to maintain it, train local personnel, supply fuel for reactors and, most importantly, resolve issues of its disposal. Meanwhile, Turkey will pay for all these services at favorable prices for both parties, the expert summed up.

In political terms, the Akkuyu NPP project is a symbol of common interests and friendly relationsas well as the joint Turkish Stream gas pipeline. During the ceremony, Vladimir Putin, in particular, noted that the successful implementation of this flagship project will not only bring bilateral cooperation in the energy sector to a qualitatively new level, but also in general, will contribute to the further advancement of the multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership

At first glance, the opening of a nuclear power plant in Turkey is a very local event, from an economic point of view, having an exclusively regional character. but strengthening cooperation, both economic and military, with the NATO country, undoubtedly, strengthens Russia’s position in the region… In this context, close cooperation between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia on oil issues should also be considered. In general, Moscow is consistently gaining prestige in the region and increasing its influence.– Oleg Bogdanov, a leading analyst at the investment company QBF, told Izvestia.

By the way, the Turkish leader stressed during the ceremony that Ankara will continue cooperation with Moscow on the most important regional problems. This concerns, in his words, the situation in Libya and Syria, as well as the normalization of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope that the politicians will soon be able to hold a personal meeting. “We agreed, we haven’t seen each other for a long time,” Vladimir Putin reacted.