The delegation of representatives of the Republic of Turkey attended the ATOMEXPO 2019 Forum in Sochi and the technical tour to Leningrad NPP

During its visit to Russia, the delegation from Mersin province where Akkuyu NPP, Turkey's first nuclear power plant, will be built, attended the 11-th International Forum ATOMEXPO 2019 and the technical tour to Leningrad NPP.


The delegation included members of the public and administrative officials of Mersin province and Gülnar district, local media reporters and heads of higher educational institutions.


The visit started in Sochi where the delegation representatives attended the ATOMEXPO Forum – the main event of the global nuclear industry. It is the largest exhibition and business platform for discussing the current state of the nuclear industry and setting future trends. In 2019 the Forum saw a record number of participants: more than 3.5 thousand nuclear experts, company chief executives, scientists, marketing experts, representatives of mass media, as well as city and municipal authorities from 74 countries of the world. The key topic of the Forum was "Nuclear for Better Life" due to rapidly increasing global use of nuclear technologies. Apart from the ecologically-safe and reliable energy source which contributes to conservation of climate, atoms for peace also promote the development of science, education, medicine, and agriculture.


During the Forum, Turkish journalists were able to meet and communicate with Anastasia Zoteeva, CEO of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC, Agneta Rising, Director General of World Nuclear Association (WNA), and American expert Michael Shellenberger, participated in roundtable and panel discussions of the Forum, where, apart from global issues of conservation of climate and prospects for zero carbon power, they discussed non-energy use of nuclear and radiation technologies, as well as advanced managerial solutions for urban infrastructure development and improvement of quality of life.


Administrative officials and members of the public of Gülnar district participated in the roundtable discussion arranged by JSC Rusatom Energy International, where they exchanged views on preparation of sites and municipal unit for construction of nuclear power plants with mayors of Finnish municipalities Raahe and Pyhäjoki.


After that, the Turkish delegation headed over to the town of Sosnovy Bor with a population of 70 thousand, where Leningrad NPP is located, for a meeting with Alexey Ivanov, head of Sosnovy Bor urban district, and Mikhail Voronkov, Sosnovy Bor administration head, who spoke about the role of Leningrad NPP in development of the region.


"The outflow of population is very low. Everyone knows that he/she can find employment in Sosnovy Bor. Only 200 people have currently signed up for unemployment, while the number of open vacancies at the town's enterprises amounts to 2090. Living here means the possibility to get a stable and well-paid job, while remaining in harmony with nature. The town is very quiet and green, which is perfect for raising a family. Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies in the town", said Mikhail Voronkov, Sosnovy Bor administration head.


"The population is not troubled by close proximity to the NPP, as modern safety systems are very reliable. At that, such a large industrial facility attracts numerous investors to our region", emphasized Alexey Ivanov, head of Sosnovy Bor urban district.


At the conclusion of the visit, the representatives of Mersin province visited the second turn of Leningrad NPP and familiarized themselves with operation of the power unit with VVER-1200 reactor.


The delegation members were able to observe the work of the NPP personnel and ask all questions of interest about NPPs and nuclear power industry. Alexander Belyaev, chief engineer of Leningrad NPP-2, said: "We have extensive experience in construction and operation of 3+ generation NPPs. Safety systems have improved significantly, as compared with preceding technologies. An accident similar to that at Fukushima is impossible here. A modern reactor can operate for 60 years without damages of the containment and fatigue of metal. This term amounted to 30 years for the previous generation of reactors".


After the visit, the participants shared their impressions:


"Akkuyu NPP being constructed near the settlement of Büyükeceli will definitely change Gülnar district. By attending ATOMEXPO International Forum, meeting with representatives of the nuclear industry from various countries and visiting the Russian NPP we learned about the development of nuclear power generation regions. We learned that a determined effort has been made to ensure safety during operation of nuclear power plants. Apart from that, during ATOMEXPO we were able to meet with mayors of Finnish cities, in the vicinity of which Hanhikivi NPP construction is planned, and had a chance to learn about their experience in preparation for a large-scale infrastructure project. I believe that Akkuyu NPP, with the life cycle of 60 years, will ensure stable power generation and contribute to a decrease in state budget expenditures and economic growth in the country. We hope that power generation will start in the nearest future. Lord willing, the faith of Gülnar will change, and we'll see a better tomorrow", said Mustafa Ayvat, the Governor of Gülnar district.


"The process associated with the NPP construction has started before my time and has picked up steam during the last five years. The process was accelerated thanks to the presidents of Turkey and Russia. My opinion on nuclear energy has changed significantly after the visit to Russia. I was happy to get some insight into education, culture and social changes in the Russian region where Leningrad NPP was built. I have gained an important experience and was able to see the future of our region. Energy is vital, and a nuclear power plant is its most reliable source, so we shall not stay on the sidelines. We are for nuclear power industry for the sake of a better future", said Fatih Burgut, head of Department of Education of Gülnar district.


Zeliha Akkuş, the publisher of Mersin Kadin Gazetesi̇, said: "Before this trip, my opinion on nuclear power plants was extremely negative. I came to Russia with the idea that the NPP will turn Mersin into a desert. However, the information I obtained at ATOMEXPO proves the contrary. Later, when I came to the Russian region where an NPP was built and saw green forests, plants and residential areas, not to mention children, families and young people, my opinion has changed completely. For me, the visit to the nuclear power plant was the most important part of this trip. People are scared by things they don't understand. However, when you see a NPP with your own eyes, it becomes clear that there is nothing to be afraid of".


Turgay Demirtaş, head of Journalists Association of Mersin and Chair of the Board of Directors of Channel 33, said: "For us, the Forum was extremely valuable. We had the opportunity to learn more about nuclear power industry and its benefits. After that, we headed over to Sosnovy Bor and saw the operating NPP similar to Akkuyu NPP. For us, it was important to examine the NPP and to find out what good will it do to our region. We have visited the Leningrad NPP site and became sure of its safety. We talked to the mayor of the town nearest to the NPP and got all our questions answered. After this trip, I can state with great confidence that the NPP will ensure development of our region, significantly increase employment and contribute to revival of economy in the wake of population growth. Everything I saw here makes me think that we will benefit from the NPP".

For information

Leningrad NPP is located in the town of Sosnovy Bor, 40 km to the west of Saint Petersburg, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Leningrad NPP has the largest installed capacity in Russia (4200 MW) and is the only Russian NPP with two types of reactors: it has three operating power units RBMK-1000 (uranium-graphite channel-type thermal reactors with electric capacity of 1000 MW) and one 3+ generation VVER-1200 power unit (water cooled, water moderated power reactor with electric capacity of 1200 MW). Shutdown of the country's first RBMK-1000 power unit for decommissioning took place on December 21, 2018. VVER-1200 power unit No. 2 is under construction. The owner and developer of Leningrad NPP replacement capacity construction project is "Rosenergoatom" JSC; the general designer – JSC ATOMPROEKT, the general contractor – JSC “CONCERN TITAN-2”.

Akkuyu NPP – Turkey's first nuclear power plant. Construction of Akkuyu NPP is performed within the framework of the inter-governmental agreement signed by Russia and Turkey in May of 2010. The State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom is the majority shareholder of AKKUYU NUCLEAR design company which has accepted obligations on design, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of the NPP within the framework of a long-term contract. Akkuyu NPP is the first project in the global nuclear industry being implemented according to build-own-operate model. The Russian party finances 100% of the Akkuyu NPP construction project. ROSATOM may sell a stake up to 49% to other parties who wish to invest in the project. Akkuyu NPP project includes four power units with Russian generation 3+ VVER reactors. The capacity of each power unit of the NPP will amount to 1200 MW.

Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom is one of global technology leaders with sufficient resources and expertise for successful activities at all stages of production chain in the nuclear power industry. ROSATOM owns a wide range of assets, from production of uranium to NPP decommissioning and nuclear waste processing.