Cracks discovered during construction of Turkey's first nuclear plant

Work on Turkey’s first nuclear power plant has been held up by fissures discovered in the foundations, Turkish pro-government outlet HaberTürk reported on Monday.

Russian state nuclear energy firm Rosatom began construction of the Akkuyu nuclear plant in the southern Turkish province of Mersin last year.

But the project hit an early hurdle when Turkey’s Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) discovered fissures in concrete foundations laid since the groundbreaking ceremony in April 2018, HaberTürk’s Olcay Aydilek reported.

TAEK first discovered cracks in the concrete last July, and ordered the affected concrete broken up and laid again.

Cracks were discovered again in the newly laid concrete, and the TAEK team ordered the whole section excavated and re-laid, Aydilek said.

The foundations for the first of four units planned for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant are now ready, he said.

The first unit is scheduled to go into service in 2023, marking 100 years since the Republic of Turkey was established. The other units are expected to follow it over the next three years.

Russia and Turkey signed the agreement for a Rosatom subsidiary to build and operate the Akkuyu plant in 2010.

Last month, however, Russia’s state news agency TASS quoted Rosatom’s chief executive officer, Alexei Likhachev, as saying the company was holding private talks to sell as muchas 49 percent of its stake in the project.