Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear plant facing numerous safety concerns - Birgün
Top-level officials working at Turkey’s Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant construction project say a series of problems, including lack of design adaptation and a shortage of competent engineers on site, are posing serious safety concerns, left-wing Birgün newspaper reported.
Located in Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal town of Mersin, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant Akkuyu is a joint Russian-Turkish project with Russian energy company Rosatom as the majority stakeholder. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin kicked off the construction of the plant on Apr. 3 amid concerns about the potentially destructive ecological consequences of the plant.
The project hit a snag in May when fissures discovered in the foundations, according to pro-government outlet HaberTürk. New concrete was laid only for more cracks to be discovered.
The problem of the cracks, discovered by Turkey’s Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK), have since been fixed, however the foundation of the plant remains a problem.
The design of the plant was created with Russian landscape and weather in mind and is in need of revision to be adapted to Turkey’s warm climate, officials told Birgün.
“For example, sloping in the mountains should be conducted in a more horizontal fashion, but it has been done vertically to minimise costs and this is resulting the boulders continually rolling down the hills,’’ one official said.
The ground the plant is being built on, which according to a geology engineer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is filled with gaps and cannot support the plant.
“Technically speaking, you can construct a structure over any kind of surface. However, the structure at hand is not a copy-paste matter, it must be revised according to the present surface. None of this is happening because the engineers of the project are not competent,’’ the engineer said, pointing to gaps that may lead to condensation, among other problems.
The project is run entirely on the ‘’past experiences’’ contractors, one official said. ‘’They are acting as though a building is being constructed instead of a nuclear reactor. And even during the process of constructing a building, a much more serious plan of action is followed.’’
The cooling of the plant is to take place through the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The warm water to be released into the sea after the cooling process, a chemical engineer who spoke to left-wing Birgün daily said, will lead to increased temperatures in the water, which in turn affects marine life.
‘’Chlorine is placed in the water to avoid mussels etc. from sticking to the pipes used to draw the water. And then this water, which now naturally has chlorine in it, is released into the sea,’’ the official said. ‘’Imagine the damage this can create in the sea, which is filled with living organisms.’’