ROSATOM Russian State Nuclear Corporation held a virtual tour to Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant with Russian-designed VVER-1200 type 3+ generation reactors for the Turkish business community on sidelines of the International Nuclear Power Plants Expo & Summit (NPPES-2022) in Istanbul on June 8 and 9, 2022. This is the first virtual tour organized to Novovoronezh NPP at the Summit. The tour was attended by participants of the Summit, representatives of major Turkish, European and international companies of nuclear sector, as well as students from different faculties of Istanbul Technical University, one of Turkey's leading universities.
Novovoronezh NPP is the world's first industrial NPP with VVER type reactors. It is also the first one where VVER-1200 3+ generation reactors were connected to the grid. The power unit No. 6 and No. 7 with this type of reactor were put into operation on 27 February 2017 and 31 October 2019, respectively.
Specialists of Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company (part of ROSATOM chain of companies) gave a tour to the Novovoronezh NPP and informed the attendees about the working principles of the plant and its contribution to the regional economy, social life and infrastructure development. Virtual video tour in 360° format provided a unique opportunity for the audience to get to know various elements of the nuclear power plant such as control panel, as well as turbine building and even reactor building, where no regular visitors are allowed to enter.
Attendees also could visit the training center during the tour. The center allows not only Russian but also future Turkish personnel of Akkuyu NPP to obtain training. Training programs for Akkuyu NPP personnel, which will ensure safe operation of NPP equipment and systems, comprise several stages, including theoretical training, as well as on-site training and practical training at NPPs in the Russian Federation and later at Akkuyu NPP.
At the end of the virtual tour, attendees visited the town of Novovoronezh, where Novovoronezh NPP is located. The population of the town, which was founded during the construction of the power plant, now exceeds 30 thousand. More than 80 percent of the people of Novovoronezh have a net positive attitude towards nuclear power plants, thanks to an effective information system at the nuclear power plant, a series of social and economic support programs for the town, and a high level of employment rate.
Alexander Voronkov, Rosatom Middle East and North Africa Director and Regional Vice President, said: “Transparency and accessibility of information are extremely important for an effective dialogue with the public. We at Rosatom are aware of this, so in 2020 Rosenergoatom Concern developed a series of virtual tours to Russian nuclear facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited possibilities for direct dialogue with the public, but has also become an impetus for us to develop new forms of communication. Today, experts from the Russian nuclear industry offer a unique opportunity to visit nuclear power plants and communicate online with Russian nuclear scientists. This brings the nuclear power industry closer to people, helps them understand complex operating principles of nuclear plants, and enables them to see with their own eyes the enormously important contribution that nuclear power plants make to the sustainable development of their regions and to improving people's quality of life.”
The participants of the event shared their impressions after the tour.
Istanbul Technical University Preparatory Department student Helin Oğuz: “I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the nuclear power plant before. The virtual tour was very informative and it was very interesting to see the inside of the nuclear power plant. The 360 format is very exciting.”
Istanbul Technical University Physics Engineering Department 3rd year student Mert Sancak: “I was satisfied with the virtual tour. After all, I had the opportunity to see a real nuclear power plant. It is good that our country has its own nuclear power plant, which is a clean energy source, and that our country is developing in this area. Thanks to the virtual tour, we saw how many safety precautions were actually taken at nuclear power plants. I think this will create employment for young people like us. I am interested in nuclear energy and of course I want to study in Russia. Thanks to the Akkuyu NPP project, knowledge is transferred within Turkey.”
Bilge Kaan Demircan, a 1st year student at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University: “I’ve been to a research reactor before. But thanks to the virtual tour, I got answers to my questions and learned some details that I had been interested in before. It was very informative, especially on passive safety measures applied at the nuclear power plant. I hope for clean future with atomic energy.”
Fadime Özge Özkan, Research Assistant and PhD Student at Istanbul Technical University Energy Institute Nuclear Research Department: “Students liked the event very much. Istanbul Technical University is a comprehensive university with technical training. Students from different engineering faculties have gained new knowledge in the area of atomic energy. There were still some questions in the technical area, but we found answers to these questions. Rosatom's speaker explained everything in great detail.”