The Russian-designed Akkuyu nuclear power plant in southern Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea, relatively close to the border with Syria, has not been damaged by the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that came with repeated aftershocks, said Rosatom, the general contractor for the project.
The construction site is technically within the zone of major impact of the earthquake(s) that have reportedly killed about 15,000 people. The epicenter of the seismic activity was in the vicinity of Gaziamtep, which is a 45-minute commute to Akkuyu, a distance of about 52.5 km.
Despite the proximity to the epicenter, “our specialists have not revealed any damage to building structures, cranes and equipment,” said Rosatom General Director Anastasia Zoteeva, as quoted by Nuclear Engineering International.
“We are nevertheless carrying out extensive diagnostic measures to make sure that construction and installation operations can continue safely,” she said.
Some reports put the strength of the tremors at a magnitude of 7.8. Regardless, it was among the strongest earthquakes in the region’s history and toppled buildings in south-central Turkey and northern Syria.
Rosatom’s response included humanitarian efforts to help communities devastated by the damage. Company officials collected warm clothes and other supplies for victims many of whom have been rendered homeless during temperatures that hover near zero, as Turkey is in the middle of its winter season. The latitude of the earthquake’s epicenter is roughly the same as northern Virginia.
Heaters, sleeping bags, food, water, blankets, coats and hats are all on the list of needed supplies. At least 4 metric tons of supplies were collected and shipped to help victims, Rosatom said.
In addition, 200 construction personnel and more than 80 heavy construction site machines (tractors, cranes, bulldozers and the like) were on their way to help with rescue and rebuilding, Rosatom said.
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