Russia and Turkey to launch first Akkuyu reactor in 2023: Putin

Russia and Turkey plan to launch the first reactor at Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant in 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Nov. 13.

Speaking alongside President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Putin said the Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom would begin work at the Akkuyu site in the near future.

Putin noted that during the meeting, the parties discussed in detail strategic cooperation in the energy sector.

“This concerns the Turkish Stream [gas pipeline] and the construction of the Akkuyu power plant. Rosatom is set to start the practical stage of the project’s implementation in the near future,” Putin said, adding that the launch of the first Akkuyu NPP reactor is planned for 2023.

The following day, Rosatom Chairman Alexei Likhachyov said an “ambitious” project “can only be realized through effective cooperation.”

“Completing the Akkuyu nuclear power plant by 2023 is an ambitious goal … The processes of procuring the equipment and construction needs to be carried out meticulously,” Likhachyov told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency on Nov. 14.

“In order to complete the project on time, Russia and Turkey have been working vigorously. The only way to achieve this goal is an effectively coordinated and trust-based cooperation between the two sides,” he added.

Likhachyov also said Rosatom hoped to acquire all licenses for Akkuyu by the first quarter of 2018 in order to kick off work.

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