Another stage completed in building water discharge system of Turkey’s first nuclear plant 

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At the construction site of unit 1 of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant (NPP) at Akkuyu, being constructed with the assistance of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, workers have connected the discharge channel and the siphon well as part of the work on setting up a unified water discharge system at the NPP. 

A Rosatom statement earlier this month said that establishing a water discharge system is an important stage in the construction of the high-tech onshore hydraulic structures of the Akkuyu NPP. 

“The facilities will ensure the removal of sea water and desalinated water to be used for cooling the nuclear power plant equipment. The construction of discharge channels and siphon wells is carried out in parallel for Akkuyu NPP units 1 and 2”, the statement said.  

Construction of these facilities involve 700 workers and experts who work in shifts to ensure that there is no interruption, the statement added. 

According to the statement, the water flows are mixed, while the temperature of the water coming from the condenser and other NPP cooling systems is balanced in the siphon well prior to being discharged into the outlet channel.  

“The builders will pour 17,600 cubic meters of concrete into the reinforced concrete structures of the siphon well. During the construction of the water discharge channel, more than 40,000 cubic meters of concrete will be used”, it said. At the next stage construction workers will start the installation of tunnels and pipelines. 

The 950-meter-long channel is being constructed along the coastline of the site located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. It consists of 34 separate sections connected by special expansion joints, which make the channel resistant to such external impacts as air temperature changes, seismic events and soil settlement, the statement added. 

“The construction of the onshore facilities is one of the key stages in the preparation of Akkuyu NPP for commissioning. They will provide the NPP with water necessary for cooling thermal and mechanical equipment. It should be noted that seawater is not used for cooling the reactor directly. The seawater will enter the turbine condensers to cool the steam in the secondary circuit without being exposed to radiation”, Akkuyu Nuclear CEO Anastasia Zoteeva said in a statement.  

Earlier this year, welding of the main circulation pipeline started in unit 1. The main circulation pipeline connects the major equipment of a nuclear power plant –reactor, steam generators, reactor coolant pumps – and is a part of the primary circuit of an NPP.  

Last year, the reactor pressure vessel was installed at unit 1, while four steam generators for the second unit were also shipped from Russia following the completion of their manufacture.  

During 2021, Rosatom had also announced that construction work had started on the units 3 and 4 of the Akkuyu NPP. A Rosatom statement had said that building and installation works were being carried out simultaneously at the construction sites of all four Akkuyu NPP power units, making it the world’s largest nuclear construction site with four power units being built simultaneously.  

The statement had said that the Akkuyu NPP is the first project in the global nuclear industry that is being implemented according to the Build-Own-Operate model.  

According to Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez, “construction and commissioning of the plant will provide 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity needs. It is also an important contribution to the preservation of our ecology: nuclear power plants are a source of environmentally friendly and uninterrupted electricity. The project is a driver for the development of industry, economy, employment, and also contributes to the development of many related industries.”       

Turkey plans to bring the 1,200 MW unit 1 online in 2023. With three more similar units, the Akkuyu NPP will have a total capacity of 4,800 MW. All the units are to be equipped with the Russian-designed Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors.