Turkish students at the SPbPU have completed their internship at the new power blocks of the VVER-1200 Leningrad NPP

The Turkish students of the Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) have completed their internship at the Leningrad NPP. During their on-the-job studies at the training center, they learned about the technical peculiarities of the most cutting-edge Russian VVER-1200 power blocks, studies the 3+ generation power blocks’ control and management systems that represent a perfect combination of automation and human capacities.

The full-scale VVER-1200 power block simulator helped the students to witness how operating staff works at different modes.

‘This is my second visit to the Leningrad NPP. I enjoy the training atmosphere, and the teachers are great. Having an opportunity to learn from true professionals is extremely important and valuable. I’m happy to join the nuclear power industry, as this one is crucial for Turkey. Nuclear power is highly effective and safe for the environment. I have studied in Russia, which is a good start for me. Your country is a leader in the nuclear power, you have the knowledge, the experience, the technologies. The world’s first NPP in Obninsk, Igor Kurchatov – everyone in Turkey knows it!’, Emre Beki, a student at the SPbPU, said.

Burak Pekshen, a student at the SPbPU: ‘I chose to study in Russia because the first Turkish NPP was built according to a Russian design. And that’s where I want to work in order to foster the advancement and prosperity of Turkey. My dream is to work somewhere around the second circuit of the reactor facility. As a matter of fact, last year during my studies, we were working on a steam generator project, which was very exciting for me. I don’t remember how time flew when I was working on it. So, I can say that I have found an area where I want to apply my knowledge’.

Natalia Donmez, a tutor at the ‘Nuclear and heat power’ department of the SPbPU Energy and Transportation Facilities Institute: ‘An internship at the Leningrad NPP is not just a revision of what was studied before and a summary of the knowledge, it’s a huge step forward. The Leningrad NPP experts are happy to share their unique experience with students. This is where the theory meets the application, and it’s fantastic! Another important training aspect is the actual interaction with people for whom their work at the Leningrad NPP is a matter of life, sometimes even a family tradition. Their stories inspire the students and help them overcome any challenges, acquire new knowledge to use this in a proper way at the first nuclear power plant in the Republic of Turkey.

‘I can see that these students are bright, thorough, serious about their studies, and strive to figure out each and every detail, even the most sophisticated ones. If they continue doing their best in their studies, I’m sure the Akkuyu NPP will be in good hands’, Vitaliy Yarets, the internship head, the head of the operating staff training department at the Leningrad NPP-2, said.

‘Today they are just students, but tomorrow they will be in charge of the most up-to-date and challenging facilities, the Akkuyu NPP power blocks that are now being constructed in Turkey following the Russian designs. I can see these guys are full of vigour for studies and new knowledge. We do our best to help them apply their knowledge in real life. Their communication with our trainers and operating staff brings its benefits: during the final academic assessment, the majority of students demonstrated outstanding results. Next year, we plan to host this internship group again in order to teach them how to handle technical maintenance and repairs’, Sergey Rechkin, the deputy head of the training center at the Leningrad NPP-2, summarized.

The Leningrad NPP is the country’s first plant with RBMK-1000 reactors (uranium-graphite circuit-type reactor running on thermal neutrons). The decision that marked its construction was taken in September 1966 by a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers No. 800-252. According to that document, the Leningrad NPP was supposed to become a core in a network of nuclear power plants with RBMK-1000 reactors that were supposed to produce a substantial share of electric power. The construction of the Leningrad NPP was going well, and by 1973 the first power block was fully erected. On December 23, 1973, following stable 72-hours’ operation at the capacity of 150 megawatt, the State Commission signed the acceptance certificate stating that the first power block of the Leningrad nuclear power plant is commissioned for pilot production. 

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