Simplification of licensing in Turkey to accelerate Akkuyu project implementation — Novak

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Changes to Turkey’s legislation will make it possible to accelerate the implementation of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant construction project, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday on the Energetics program of the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

“We did have problems caused by the fact that Turkish law did not provide for simplified licensing. And the project, to begin its implementation in full volume, requires a large number of licenses. Therefore, the adoption of amendments to the legislation, which has recently occurred, provides the possibility for accelerating the project implementation”, the minister said.

Turkey’s Energy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said previously after meeting Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak that Turkey had removed all legal obstacles for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and supports the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline. “Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci assured Alexander Novak, that currently the Turkish side has removed all legal obstacles for the construction of the Akkuyu NPP and expressed support for the Turkish Stream project,” Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement after the meeting. “The Turkish Stream” is beneficial for both countries,” the Turkish minister said.

The intergovernmental Russian-Turkish agreement on construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant was signed on May 12, 2010. This project includes construction of four power units (VVER-1200) with a capacity of 1.2 GW each in accordance with the Russian project NPP-2006.

The total cost of the construction is estimated at $22 bln. The total amount of funds Russia allocated to the project to date is approximately $3 bln. Due to tensions in Russian-Turkish relations, the future of Akkuyu NPP project is still under question. Western media, citing sources in the Turkish government, reported earlier that the project was suspended. However, the Turkish side has officially denied this information.

In June, Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom said that the first concreting at Akkuyu NPP was planned for 2018. The first power unit is planned to will be put into operation in 2023.

The Russian company expects to receive the license for the construction of the NPP this August.