The construction of Turkey's first Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) "is going smoothly" according to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who visited the construction site of the Akkuyu NPP in Mersin on Friday.
"The construction of the first unit of the Akkuyu NPP, which involves 3000 Russian and 10,000 Turkish engineers, will be completed by May 2023. We see this as a very important symbol," Erdogan was quoted as saying by TASS during his speech in Mersin.
Ankara is hoping that the first reactor is launched in 2023 to celebrate the republic's 100th anniversary.
It was in May 2010 that an intergovernmental agreement was signed between Turkey and Russia to construct the country's first nuclear power plant.
Akkuyu Nukleer, a company fully owned by the Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom, is the operator of the construction.
According to Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev, the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant never stopped during the pandemic period, not even for an hour.
"The construction of Unit 1 proceeds ahead of the schedule stipulated by the intergovernmental agreement. In the past 18 months, during the tough period of the pandemic, the construction never stopped – not for one day, not even for one hour," Likhachev told Rossiya-24 TV channel according to the Russian news agency.
According to the report, the Akkuyu power plant will comprise four power units with a capacity of 1200 MW each. When ready, the station will generate about 35 bln kWh per year. The construction of Unit One began in April 2018, of Unit Two – in June 2020.