Security & Safety

Turkey / IAEA Completes Review Of Nuclear Security Regime

By David Dalton
15 November 2021

Ankara is building its first commercial reactors at Akkuyu
IAEA Completes Review Of Nuclear Security Regime
Russia is helping Turkey build four commercial nuclear power units at Akkuyu. Curtesy Rosatom.
Turkey, which is building its first commercial nuclear power station at Akkuyu, has established a nuclear security regime with essential elements of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s guidance on the fundamentals of nuclear security, an agency mission concluded.

The scope of the two-week international physical protection advisory service (IPPAS) mission included a review of the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of nuclear and other radioactive material and a review of cyber security arrangements and regulatory practices.

Nuclear material accounting and control measures, which protect nuclear and associated facilities and material from criminals, were also reviewed, as part of a pilot feature envisaged to be added soon in the scope of all IPPAS missions.

The IAEA said the IPPAS team offered recommendations and suggestions to support Turkey in further improving and sustaining nuclear security. Good practices were identified that can serve as examples to other IAEA member states to help strengthen their nuclear security activities.

This was the second IPPAS mission in Turkey, following the first in 2003. In July 2015, Turkey ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), and its incorporation into the country’s nuclear security regime was also included in the scope of the mission.

Through its nuclear security programme, the IAEA supports states to establish and sustain an effective nuclear security regime. According to the agency, the possibility that nuclear material or other radioactive material could be used for criminal purposes or intentionally used in an unauthorised manner “cannot be ruled out in the current global situation”.

The $20bn Akkuyu station is being built near Mersin on Turkey’s southwest Mediterranean coast by Russian state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom under a contract signed in 2010.

The station will have four Generation III+ VVER-1200 units supplied by Russia, with the first expected to come online in 2023 and a further unit starting every year afterwards.

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