President Erdogan thanked his Russian counterpart and congratulated all the Russian and Turkish personnel who had worked on the project.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia participated online in a ceremony marking the arrival of the first fuel for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey.

The official conversion to a nuclear power plant and the classification of Turkey as a nation with nuclear energy capacity both occur simultaneously with the delivery of nuclear fuel, which is a significant event.

According to Turkey’s Ministry of Energy “The night before, the nuclear fuel, which was made up of uranium pellets, was flown in from Russia with high security precautions. After being loaded onto three trucks, the fuel was then driven by land to the Akkuyu NPP site. The radiation measurements and protective containers used to transport the uranium pellets mean that there is no security risk “.

The two presidents delivered their speeches via video link to the hundreds of workers, officials, and business leaders who attended the event in person.President Putin claims that Akkuyu will have the highest levels of environmental and safety standards and will be “the greatest nuclear power plant on earth.”

He thanked Rosatom, other government officials, Turkish and Russian engineers, as well as his Turkish counterpart, for ensuring that the construction work had advanced smoothly and overcame any challenges.

President Erdogan thanked his Russian counterpart and congratulated all the Russian and Turkish personnel who had worked on the project. He noted that the European Commission had recognised nuclear energy as green energy and that when all four units were operational at the end of 2028, it would provide 10% of the country’s electricity needs.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev addressed the ceremony.

They plan to carry out a physical start-up next year and bring the reactor to the minimum controllable power level in 2025.

The four-unit Akkuyu plant project is the largest investment the country has ever made, according to Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez, who also noted that 30,000 people have worked on it. The plant will have 550,000 individual parts and is expected to run for up to 80 years.

Turkey’s first plant is in the province of Akkuyu, in the south. Four VVER-1200 reactors are being built by Rosatom under the so-called BOO (build-own-operate) model. In 2018, the first unit’s construction got under way. It is anticipated that the 4800 MWe plant will provide 10% of Turkey’s electricity requirements.

Director General of the World Nuclear Association Sama Bilbao y León delivered the following statement at the event: “I am thrilled to witness the first fuel delivery at Akkuyu, which formally brings Turkey into the international nuclear family. Congratulations! You will play a crucial role in helping Turkey strengthen its energy security and achieve its net-zero emission goals.

“The fact that this first unit was finished in just over five years is evidence of global cooperation and shows how quickly our industry can produce nuclear reactors. I want to reaffirm our commitment to collaborating with Turkey and the Turkish nuclear industry in order to build a more prosperous world for all people through a sustainable nuclear future.”