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More nuclear energy for Turkey as Russia starts work on 2nd power unit for Akkuyu plant

More nuclear energy for Turkey as Russia starts work on 2nd power unit for Akkuyu plant
The construction of a new power unit at the Russian-built Akkuyu nuclear power plant (NPP) in Turkey, the first of its kind in the country, is set to start in the first quarter of 2020.

“Works at the site have already begun... We may hold an official concrete pouring ceremony by March,” Alexey Likhachev, director general of Russian nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, told journalists on Monday.

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Pouring concrete at such sites usually marks the official start of construction. In August, Akkuyu Nuclear, a part of Rosatom charged with implementing the construction in Turkey, was granted a general licence, allowing them to start work on the second reactor.

The Akkuyu NPP is the largest joint project between Russia and Turkey. The $20-billion project is fully funded by Russia, while in the future Russian companies are set to have a 51 percent stake in it. The rest will be acquired by third-party investors, according to an agreement the two sides signed in 2010.

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The main contractor for the power plant's construction, Rosatom’s subsidiary Titan-2 Concern, is working in partnership with one of Turkey's largest private investment construction firms Ictas, the Russian nuclear energy corporation announced on Monday. “We hope this alliance will help us successfully realize the project,” Likhachev said.

The plant will have four reactors with a capacity of 4,800 MW, and is expected to serve for at least 60 years, covering around 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity needs. The first reactor is expected to start operations in 2023, when Turkey will celebrate its centenary.

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