Akkuyu-1 polar crane mounted

August 24, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Turkey’s Akkuyu-1 receives its polar crane. (Photo: Akkuyu Nuclear)

Akkuyu Nuclear, the Ankara-based Rosatom subsidiary established to manage Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear plant project, has announced the successful mounting of the Unit 1 polar crane. The operation was carried out using a Liebherr LR 13000 crane and took approximately four hours, according to Akkuyu Nuclear.

Also referred to as a circular bridge crane, the polar crane operates on a circular runway located near the spring line of the containment building. It is used for a wide range of loading and lifting tasks within containment, including reactor-head removal/replacement and fuel loading/unloading.

What they’re saying: “The mounting of the polar crane is one of the key events at Unit 1,” said Sergei Butсkikh, Akkuyu Nuclear’s project director, in an August 19 release. “It is very important that the installation of the crane was completed in due time; this will allow us to follow the schedule for further installation operations in the reactor building. The assembly of the crane structures is carried out in several stages and requires well-coordinated work. The best Turkish and Russian specialists are involved in the work. The crane is installed at an elevation of 38.5 meters [about 126 feet]. Currently, the metal structures of the polar crane bridge weighing 282 tons have been installed. The mounting of additional elements is still to be done. The total weight of the crane structures will be approximately 500 tons.”

Background: The Russian and Turkish governments signed a cooperation agreement on May 12, 2010, for the construction of the Akkuyu plant. The project involves building four 1,114-MWe Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors, model AES-2006. The design is based on the new generation of reactors being built in Russia, the first of which was Novovoronezh II-1. Akkuyu-1 is currently scheduled for commercial operation in 2023, with Units 2, 3, and 4 to follow in 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively.

Akkuyu Nuclear received a construction license from the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority on April 2, 2018. Construction of Unit 1 officially commenced on April 3 with the first pour of concrete for the unit’s reactor building.

It has been estimated that when all four Akkuyu reactors are in operation, they will generate about 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity.

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