Russian-Turkish cooperation in nuclear education


Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. which will build the first Turkish NPP, provided assistance in signing the Agreements on cooperation in research, education and social spheres between Ankara University, Hacettepe University and MEPhI Russian National Research Nuclear University, on which basis joint educational, researchers and scientific information exchange programs will be developed. Taner Yıldız Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Sergei Kiriyenko Chief Executive Office of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation attended the signing ceremony which took plance in thye Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey.

During positive speeches of various Universities’ presidents who attended the event, Erkan Ibiş PhD president of Ankara University highlighted that the Government of the Republic of Turkey has made very good “road map” for the nuclear industry. Professor Murat Tuncer PhD, president of Hacettepe University which participates in the current cooperation, stated that several years Turkish nuclear specialists were being trained and currently the country had its own human resources. Murat Tuncer also underlined that the present cooperation would contribute to development of various industries and the economy as a whole. According to him under the signed agreements Hacettepe University would contribute to training of nuclear energy specialists who would operate the nuclear power plants to be built in the Republic of Turkey.


Professor Mehmet Karaca PhD and president of Istanbul Technical University stated that his University would be glad to provide a possibility to get professional education under the Master’s program in order to increase education level of the population.


The representative of the Russian side Mikhail Strikhanov PhD, president of MEPhI Russian National Research Nuclear University, also said that his University was intending to provide necessary staff for the Turkish nuclear industry.


Sergey Kiriyenko Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation made a speech during the agreement signing ceremony and stated that the Russian side paid great attention to strategic cooperation with Turkey and added that the most upgraded and modern model would be implemented of the nuclear industry celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. «Very serious safety measures are taken at nuclear power plant, particularly after Fukushima NPP accident. Strong earthquake and tsunami caused the accident at Fukushima NPP. But the Akkuyu NPP project was developed with due consideration of all those factors. Similar project has been implemented in India, and all technical options suggested for the Akkuyu NPP had been tested» said the head of Rosatom.


Kiriyenko also said that “Akkuyu NPP will be reliable and secured against all emergencies and contingencies. We shall do all our best to build the most modern, perfect, reliable and efficient NPP in Turkey. We are not only intending to build the NPP, but we are planning together with Turkey to create the nuclear industry in this country.”


The head of Rosatom paid special attention to the fact that Turkish companies would be involved in construction of the off-shore hydraulic engineering structures, and said: «Participation in procurement procedures under our projects implemented in other countries is open for all companies all over the world. For the first time ever when we realize projects abroad it occurred that only Turkish companies take part in the procurement procedure for the project in Turkey. So Akkuyu NPP stimulates development of the Turkish economy, creation new jobs and increase of taxes payable in favor of the country. This project will be an important contribution to the national economy with regard to new jobs creation. We provide Turkish companies with the scope of works totaling to 7 billion US dollars. During the Akkuyu NPP construction we are intending to form a pool of partners. We shall continue our cooperation with Turkish business both in Russia and abroad. We would like to pursue cooperation with Turkish companies which got experience in this field. We shall seek possibilities to cooperate with companies which got second and third places in the procurement procedure for the Akkuyu NPP construction. There are companies which would like to become partners of Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. We give priority to Turkish companies when selecting partnering companies to sell 49% of shares. The current stage is not the most beneficial for attracting investors. After obtaining the construction license the Akkuyu NPP project will not bear any risks for potential investors. This year 6 100 people applied to participate in the exams under the specialist training program for the first Turkish NPP, and the quota is 80 seats only. Interest to such and educational program achieved a record level in Turkey. Under this program the students will get not only theoretical training but they will be able also to undergo practical training at operating NPPs. It is worth to remember that it is important not just to build NPP but observe all operating conditions, and that requires qualified human resources”.


According to Sergey Kiriyenko, the Russian side meets all obligations assumed under the agreement on the NPP construction. «We observe conditions of all agreement we have signed. Akkuyu NPP must become not only the safest and secured project, but a power generation plant with the maximum level of production. We are using our own sources of funding when implementing the project. The financial crisis in Russia will not impact the Akkuyu NPP construction project; and we observe all out obligations despite financial difficulties. This project is a priority one for the Russian Government; 51 billion of rubles have already allocated this year. All necessary equipment under the project have already ordered. Just after obtaining all necessary permits and licenses we within the shortest possible time shall initiate the NPP construction. Despite the current financial difficulties we shall act by complying with our obligations” Sergey Kiriyenko said.


Commenting the completion time of the NPP construction, Sergey Kiriyenko said: “Development and approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) in Turkey took 2,5 years. When implementing the NPP construction project in other countries this takes around 6 months. The longer period in Turkey is partly based on the fact that this country is building its first NPP in its territory. The EIA report must be a result of long and intensive efforts of all sites concerned. We respect the Turkish side’s care when examining documentation under the Akkuyu NPP project. This is a first Turkish NPP and that is why the public and experts must be absolutely sure about plant’s safety. As of today 35th NPP is under construction in Russia, and everything happens quicker. Moreover, several changes must be incorporated into the Turkish energy legislation. By the date of its commissioning the NPP must meet all international standards. We are doing all our best to expedite, when practical, the project implementation”.

Tener Yıldız head of the Energy Ministry said that such large-scale projects had some risks, but offered exciting possibilities. According to the Minister, Akkuyu NPP is the largest project in the history of the modern Turkey. “Both countries are interested in soonest implementation of this project” Yıldız underlined.

Taner Yıldız Minister of Energy and Natural Resources expressed hope that the signed agreements would be a basis for efficient interuniversity cooperation which would favor creation of the Turkish nuclear industry. «We laid not only the foundation of the future NPP but foundation of the education in the nuclear industry. These basic agreements, executed between the leading Universities of Russia and Turkey, will serve as a basis of the qualified staff preparation process. Now 248 our students are being trained in Russia, and in the nearest future after selection procedure this figure will increase by 80 people”, Yıldız said.

The Energy Minister reminded that nuclear energy specialists are being trained in Turkey for many years, but thanks to signing of the Intergovernmental agreement on construction of the NPP with Russia they will be able to find practical application of their knowledge. “If one takes into account the personnel of all Turkish companies accredited at the project, the total number of jobs during the construction phase of Akkuyu NPP will be around 10 thousand. During the operation phase Turkish engineers and entrepreneurs will work at the plant” Yıldız said.

Taner Yıldız underscored that several Turkish companies were intending to participate in the Akkuyu NPP project. “9 Turkish companies have tendered for construction of the port structures, - stated the Minister. – We believe that Turkish investors and entrepreneurs are able to realize such project, of course, by arranging cooperation and partnership with each other. Any company willing to take part in such a project must address to AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Project Company”. In his turn Sergey Kiriyenko said that the Akkuyu NPP project was being implemented on the BOO principle (Build-Own-Operate) and 20 billion US dollars would be spent for it”.

After the agreement signing ceremony which took place in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey, Taner Yıldız Energy Minister and Sergey Kiriyenko Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom State Corporation participated in the “cut the ribbon” ceremony in the new AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Office in Ankara. The head of the Turkish Energy Ministry made a brief welcome speech and said: «This building will symbolize our commitment and persistence to develop the nuclear energy in Turkey and build the NPP. Our President and the Head of the Government without fatigue confirm our firmness of our intentions which turns firm every day. Let this building bring success to AKKUYU NUCLERA JSC and, hence, contribute to development of our country.”

In turn Sergey Kiriyenko Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom State Corporation thanked Taner Yıldız Energy Minister of the Republic of Turkey for cooperation and his personal efforts aimed at support of the project as well as congratulated all employees of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC with relocation to the new office.