On March 10, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the third reactor unit of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in southern Turkey.
During the ceremony, which was held online due to coronavirus prevention measures, President Erdogan revealed that the power plant, when operational, will generate 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to meet around 10% of Turkey’s power consumption.
Turkey and Russia have been cooperating on the Akkuyu NPP since May 2010. Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation is the main contractor.
According to President Erdogan, the power plant was equipped with the most advanced security systems to ensure it complies with the International Atomic Energy Agency standards.
The Turkish President said that the decision to introduce nuclear power to the country’s national energy infrastructure is a strategic step for energy supply security.
Erdogan went on to praise cooperation between Turkey and Russia on the Akkuyu NPP project as well as on a number of broad regional issues.
“The close dialogue that we established with my esteemed friend (Putin) is playing a key role not only in bilateral relations but also in preserving regional peace and stability,” Erdogan said.
From his side, President Putin praised the efforts made by Russia and Turkey to continue the construction of the plant as planned despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without exaggeration, will not only bring the bilateral cooperation in the energy sector to a qualitatively new level but also contribute to the further promotion of the multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership, promote friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of our countries,” Putin said.
When complete, the Akkuyu NPP will include four reactor units each capable of generating 1114 megawatt. The plant’s first unit is set to enter operations in 2023.
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