February 13, 2020, Moscow, Russian Federation – Diplomas of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI on higher education in the field of nuclear energy have been granted to the third graduation of students from Turkey. The target program of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC has been successfully completed by 54 graduates. All of them have received job offers from the company: young professionals will join the staff of the Akkuyu NPP under construction in Mersin province.


The diploma awarding ceremony was attended by the Rector of NRNU MEPhI Mikhail Strikhanov, the Managing Director for GR and International Cooperation of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Alexey Frolov, the HR Director of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Yulia Zholobova, the Undersecretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the Russian Federation Zeynep Savaş, and the Acting Director General of the Department of Nuclear Energy and International Projects of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey Ibrahim Halil Dere.


The Rector of NRNU MEPhI Mikhail Strikhanov addressed congratulations to the graduates:


“Today we award you diplomas of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI – one of Russia's leading universities, as well as the basic university for training personnel of Rosatom State Corporation. Within the framework of our fruitful cooperation with AKKUYU NUCLEAR, which is building the first nuclear power plant in the Republic of Turkey, we have been delivering high-class professionals for a few years already, forming the basis of the human potential of the Turkish nuclear industry. You have acquired in-depth knowledge and skills that will help you to continuously improve professionally and make a brilliant career. In Turkey, you will join the ranks of the scientific and technological elite. I believe, we will meet again, but already at the places of your work. You have a great future ahead, congratulations!”


Yulia Zholobova, the HR Director of AKKUYU NUCLEAR, congratulated the young professionals on completion of their studies:


“Today marks the third graduation of Turkish specialists. And we have something to be proud of. The graduates of the AKKUYU NUCLEAR target program are not just working for us. Studying in Russia has unlocked their potential: our young Turkish employees take first places in Russian and international industry contests. Among you there are residents of Mersin province, where our Akkuyu NPP is being built. Soon you will be back home and working in the profession you love in your home region! Millions of people around the world are leaving their homes in search of a decent and interesting job, and your homeland, Mersin, is now a place of attraction for educated and high-potential professionals!”

Nuclear specialties are becoming more and more in demand, the nuclear industry being the most promising area in the energy sector, the Managing Director for GR and International Cooperation of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Alexey Frolov said:

“This year we celebrate 10 years since the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Agreement between Russia and Turkey. Our countries agreed on the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant in 2010, and as early as 2011, we began training specialists from among Turkish citizens.  Working in the science-intensive nuclear industry is prestigious and promising nowadays. The use of nuclear technologies contributes to sustainable economic development. Nuclear power plants are not only carbon-neutral, but also have a significant direct impact on the economy: job creation, competence and science development, GDP growth and energy security. Nuclear specialties are in demand in all developing countries of the world. According to the IAEA, 55 new reactors are currently under construction in 18 countries. Moreover, the number of states wishing to join the nuclear club and develop additional facilities is constantly growing. Our graduates will work at Akkuyu NPP; they will be pioneers in the history of nuclear power in Turkey and will soon join their young colleagues who are already successfully working with us.”

Among the 2020 graduates, one graduated with honours - Özlem Arslan, 28, born in the village of Çaltıcak near the town of Çorum in Central Anatolia. Özlem finished secondary school in 2010 where she studied in a specialized engineering class. After school, she entered the University of Ankara. Özlem applied for participation in the AKKUYU NUCLEAR program in 2013, successfully passed all the exams and entered NRNU MEPhI:


“It wasn't easy to defend my graduation thesis. The commission consisted of 13 professors from our university and other higher education institutions. However, in the end I got an A and I am very happy! My graduation paper contains theoretical information on decommissioning nuclear power plants. I am happy that I will work at Akkuyu NPP. With this first nuclear power plant, a new stage in the development of energy begins for our country. And I will be among the first engineers!”


Training of personnel for Akkuyu NPP has been going on since 2011. In March 2018, the first graduation of Turkish students took place, 35 graduates received diplomas of higher education in the specialty “Nuclear Power Plants: Design, Operation and Engineering”. After 6.5 years of training and successful graduation from MEPhI, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC employed all of them.


On February 19, 2019, 53 Turkish MEPhI graduates received higher education diplomas and became the company's employees.


Today, more than 120 Turkish students continue their studies at Russian universities within the framework of the targeted personnel training program for Akkuyu NPP.




Akkuyu NPP is the first nuclear power plant under construction in the Republic of Turkey. The project is being implemented based on the intergovernmental agreement concluded between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on 12 May 2010. The project involves the construction of four power units with VVER generation 3+ reactors of Russian design. The capacity of each NPP unit will be 1200 MW. To date, the project has been fully financed by the Russian side. Rosatom is the majority shareholder of AKKUYU NUCLEAR, which has undertaken the design, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of the plant. The construction of Akkuyu NPP is the first project in the world nuclear industry to be implemented under the Build-Own-Operate model. Throughout the lifetime of the Akkuyu NPP (60 years, with an option for extension), Turkey will receive part of the income generated by Russian investments. In addition to direct payments and taxes, the project will create jobs and bring other benefits to the Turkish economy. 


Akkuyu NPP is a serial project of nuclear power plant with the most advanced VVER-1200 type reactors. Reactors of this type are equipped with a complex of active and passive safety systems taking into account the so-called "post-Fukushima" safety requirements. Serial production and operation of this technology at Novovoronezh NPP-2 and Leningrad NPP-2 confirm their high reliability.