The head of the Turkish delegation: «Now I am not afraid of anything!»


The AKKUYU NPP Power Generation Joint Stock Company keeps acquainting the people of the Turkish province Mersin, where the first nuclear power plant in the Republic will be built, with nuclear power. A delegation of the region’s population came to Russia for a three-day visit (This is the seventh visit of Turkish citizens to Russian NPPs organized by AKKUYU NPP and Rosenergoatom group of companies). The group included heads of municipalities closest to the construction site, representatives of Turkish business and ecological organizations, and journalists. First of all the guests went to the Voronezh region to visit Novovoronezhskaya NPP-2 which is now under construction and is a reference plant for NPP AKKUYU. After a talk about its distinctive features and a presentation the delegation was offered a tour around the NPP itself. At the acting Novovoronezhskaya NPP they were shown the turbine hall and the unit control board of the fifth power unit. Here the Turkish guests looked into the very heart of the NPP. They were able to watch production processes in the reactor compartment in real time through specially installed TV cameras.




It is from here that a video feed is broadcast 24 hours a day to the departments of regulatory bodies and to IAEA. Posing for a keepsake photo, the members of the delegation could not hide their emotions. For them another exciting moment lay ahead – the viewing pad of the big-scale construction site of Novovoronezhskaya NPP-2, just the type of NPP that was going to be built in Turkey. (Some people have been calling Novovoronezhskaya NPP-2 the elder sister of NPP AKKUYU for quite a long time).




Anyone except professionals with great experience would be surprised by the grand scale of the nuclear power plant construction. About 4 thousand people are engaged in the construction of Novovoronezhskaya NPP-2, 25 companies are involved. Preparatory works have already started for the assembly of four steam generators and the main coolant pipeline. Before the end of the year 2012 the 2nd power unit is to see the end of the works on erection of the cylindrical section of the reactor building and the assembly of retention device of molten core. After his recent visit to this particular viewing pad, where the scale of the construction is noticeable, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev was also amazed by what he had seen: «The production timeline and volumes are very impressive».



Dmitry Medvedev even photographed the view from the pad first on his iPhone, and then asked to bring him a professional quality camera and took some more photos. The guests from Mersin also couldn’t miss this opportunity.


Turgay Demirtash, journalist, TV station “33”, Mersin, Turkish Republic. «We came here to see how the nuclear power station functions, how people live near it, to confirm for ourselves that nuclear power industry is safe. Our TV station is actively involved in reporting the construction of NPP Akkuyu. We plan to present a special program and a news report about the results of our visit. We will speak in detail about everything we’ve seen here. And I hope this will change many TV viewers’ opinions about nuclear power industry. Today this is the most poignant issue for us». During the tour foreign guests asked all kinds of questions, from whether fish caught near the NPP was suitable for eating to how the spent fuel was being utilized.

Deputy Chief Engineer for operations for NV NPP-2 Igor Gusev answered all the questions in detail, paying special attention to the active and passive safety systems, and his colleague from the NV NPP Aleksandr Prytkov spoke about the water cooled water moderated reactors, about the modern utilized technologies which are in use at the active station. The representatives of Turkish institutions and companies were amazed at what they had actually seen. Most of all they noted the maximum openness of Russian specialists and the reliability of the production.

Halil Kumbur, professor of ecology, University of Mirsin:


«I know a lot about safety systems. I spent years studying the work of nuclear reactors. Now I have understood everything and do not have any more questions. It is very important that after Fukushima nuclear power corporations developed recommendations and took measures to strengthen safety. What I’ve seen today at Novovoronezhskaya NPP is one of the safest plants in the world, using the historical experience of nuclear power industry. I teach at the University, at the environmental engineering department. Now I have a lot of practical information to offer to the students. I will tell them how successfully your work is set up and how the activity will be organized at our plant in Akkuyu».

Ali Ozturk, representative of commerce and industry chamber of the Mersin province, head of the Turkish delegation.


«People are afraid of what they do not know. For example, many people are afraid to fly, but actually someone driving a car is more at risk, since, for example, he might get distracted and get into an accident. Turkey never had a NPP before, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people are afraid. They do not know how everything is set up and how things work. I find these fears absolutely empty and farfetched. I used to have some doubts but now I am not afraid of anything. I worked at international projects with the biggest electrical power supplier companies so I can say that for me what we have seen today is enough. I am certain of the NNP safety. Today the world companies producing electrical power work according to a single standard which is used everywhere – in the USA, in Germany, in Turkey, in France, in Russia. This is a unified international standard. As for the facilities, the equipment I see here is high-tech, really top of the line».





After flying from Voronezh to Moscow at the second day of the visit the delegation’s program included a meeting with General Director of NPP AKKUYU Alexander Superfin. The members of the delegation arrived at the Representative office of the company to discuss with its head the project for construction of a nuclear power plant in the Turkish Republic and to ask many questions.


Instead of the planned one-hour meeting the dialog took two and a half hours. Alexander Superfin spoke in great detail about the implementation of the NPP AKKUYU project and answered all the questions of the Turkish visitors. The main issue of interest for the people of Mersin has been the creation of new jobs and the way the construction of the NPP would influence the life of the region. The head of the engineering company noted: «The construction of the NPP will be nothing but helpful for the development of infrastructure of the nearby cities. The construction and operation of such major facility as a NPP is a big push towards serious change. The life of the region is being reorganized – new roads, hospitals, schools and sports facilities are built, new jobs are created. The development of infrastructure allows increasing the existing list of goods and services in the region, raising the living standards, which in its turn will help developing the industry, agriculture and tourist trade. The introduction of such a big-scale facility as the NPP in the region will create new jobs at trade, transport, education and medicine companies. Besides those occupied at the construction (even the construction site alone in its ‘peak years’ will employ up to 10 000 people at once) the NPP will employ more than 2500 operational maintenance personnel, and during planned maintenance yet more 1200 people will be involved. Turkish companies and specialists will be engaged in implementation of construction and assembly works; they will also take part in supplies of non-special equipment and in NPP operations. The plant will provide guaranteed stable supply of electrical power for tourist industry without contaminating the environment. Also, the development of the regional infrastructure which accompanies the NPP construction will additionally help the development of the tourist industry.

After a long dialog the Mayor of the city of Gulnar in the Mersin province Ahmet Gyunel asked permission to say a few words in conclusion.

«We are very grateful to the AKKUYU company for the tour it has organized for us. It was very event-packed and useful. We have looked at the nuclear power industry in a different way; we understand that building a nuclear power plant in our region will change the life at the closest cities and villages at the very least. We have seen how everything is calm and safe in Russia, how people live near NPPs and do not have any problems. Now we have to tell all this to our compatriots».






Before their return flight to Ankara the Turkish delegation had a tour of the snowy capital of the Russian Federation.  The foreign visitors were delighted by Moscow’s Red Square, the Russian borsch and Russian matryoshkas bought as keepsakes, and expressed a wish to come to Russia again some day.

NPP AKKUYU Press Service