The World Nuclear Association (WNA) welcomed the beginning of the general construction work for Turkey's first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu.
The comment came after the Director General of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev's speech on the construction for the nuclear plant on Tuesday Sept. 19 at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 61st General Conference in Vienna, Austria.
"It is great to see Turkey's nuclear energy ambitions finally mature," said Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association (WNA). "Nuclear energy will help drive economic growth in the country and reduce reliance on imported gas."
Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom plans to construct Turkey's first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, in the country's southern province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast.
The plant will have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts in four units and a working life of 8,000 hours per year.
In the first phase of construction, two units with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts are planned.
Construction of the plant is estimated to start in 2018. It has an operational date set for the first reactor by 2023 while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.
"The world is quickly adding to the number of countries building nuclear plants for the first time. They are investing in diversity and resilience for their energy systems. Nuclear plants are reliable machines, capable of operating over 90 percent of the time, through every season and in every climate," Rising said.
She added that over 9 gigawatts of electricity from new nuclear capacity came online in 2016, the largest annual increase in more than 25 years while global nuclear generation rose for the fourth successive year.
"The level of new build remains high, but the pace of new construction starts must accelerate if we are to successfully balance environmental goals with human development," Rising added.
Writing by Huseyin Erdogan