Fuel dummies shipped to Turkey for pre-launch test of unit 1 Akkuyu nuclear plant 

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Nuclear fuel dummies together with control rod mockups have been shipped for the under-construction 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. 

These mockups, or replicas for experimental use, as well as tools for incoming inspections of nuclear fuel, have been manufactured in Russia and shipped to the Akkuyu NPP by Rosatom’s fuel arm the TVEL Fuel Company, according to a statement from Rosatom earlier this week. 

Before the launch of a new nuclear power unit, dummies of fuel assemblies, as well as mockups of control rods get loaded into the reactor core and then unloaded in order to test the key systems of the facility. 

“The reactor core of a Generation III+ power unit consists of 163 fuel assemblies with uranium fuel”, the statement said.  

The building and installation work of all four Akkuyu NPP power units are being carried out simultaneously, making it the world’s largest nuclear construction site. All the units are to be equipped with the state-of-the-art Generation III plus VVER-1200 reactors of 1,200 MW capacity each fitted with both active and passive safety systems. 

The statement said that the first delivery of loading nuclear fuel for Akkuyu’s unit 1 is scheduled for 2023. 

Besides, TVEL’s Central Institute of Design and Technology will supply to each of the four units of the Akkuyu NPP Russian-made refueling machines, which are used for nuclear fuel loading and replacement of spent fuel, the statement added. The shipment of the refueling machine to the first unit is also scheduled for 2023. 

Turkey plans to bring the 1,200 MW unit 1 online in 2023. With the commissioning of three more similar units, the Akkuyu NPP will have a total capacity of 4,800 MW, which is expected to meet around 10 percent of the country’s electricity needs.