Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant And The Cooling Water Temperature Issue – OpEd


The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, currently under construction to meet Turkey’s energy needs and diversify its energy sources, represents one of the significant projects in Turkish country’s energy sector. However, when operating such large-scale facilities and considering their environmental impacts, some crucial engineering problems and solution requirements come to light.

We will focus on the issue of the average sea inlet cooling water temperature at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. The fact that the average temperature of the sea inlet cooling water reaches as high as 30-32°C poses an uneconomical condition concerning thermodynamic equilibrium. In nuclear power plants, low-temperature water is needed to cool the reactors, and a high inlet water temperature complicates this process.

A similar issue exists for the Sugözü imported coal power plant in Turkey, which uses deep-sea water intake. In this plant, seawater is drawn from depths of 30-40 meters and used for cooling the reactors. However, this practice consumes approximately 5% of the internal electricity demand, thus increasing the overall costs while generating the required energy.

Similar cooling water temperature issues are encountered in the designs of nuclear power plants in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions. These plants have a deeper seawater intake, further escalating their internal electricity requirements.

The problem of high sea inlet water temperature is a significant challenge for engineers and designers in the energy sector. In such large projects, sustainability, environmental factors, and costs must all be carefully considered. Solutions might involve researching more efficient cooling systems or alternative methods to achieve energy savings. Furthermore, the environmental impacts of such projects should be thoroughly evaluated, and appropriate measures should be taken.

It should be noted that large-scale projects like the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant hold significant potential for meeting energy needs. However, this potential can only be fully realized when considering sustainability and environmental impacts.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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