August 21, 2021, St. Petersburg, Russia. – Turkish graduates of the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) master’s course, who completed their education under the targeted training program for Akkuyu NPP operating personnel, received their master's degrees. All 22 participants of the first master's program recruitment of students from the Republic of Turkey enrolled in 2019, successfully completed the program, with 12 people receiving cum laude degrees.
Within two years of education, the students were trained in "Heat Power Engineering and Heat Engineering" as well as "Electrical Power Engineering and Electrical Engineering" branches in the historic campus of the university founded in 1899 and considered to be one of the best technical universities in Russia. Citizens of the Republic of Turkey who graduated from Turkish universities with bachelor’s degree in "Heat Power Engineering and Heat Engineering", "Power Engineering and Electrical Engineering", "Nuclear Power Engineering and Technology" and "Chemical Technology" were admitted to the program. Admission to the master's course was based on the results of an interview in English with SPbPU tutors. Teaching of vocation-related subjects was held in English, and upon that the future AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC employees were also provided with additional Russian language studying classes.
In September 2021, AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC will employ Turkish graduates of the SPbPU master’s program.
Tugce Kurt, Mersin province, bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Cukurova University (Mersin), SPbPU master's degree graduate in 2021: “Construction of the country's first nuclear power plant is a huge step forward for Turkey, so I, my family and my friends are very proud of the fact that I am going to become a part of this project. I am also very glad that Akkuyu NPP is being built in Mersin province, where I was born and raised. I am sure that thanks to this project, Turkey and Mersin will get a great boost for development. Electricity illuminates our houses, city streets, supplies energy to industrial enterprises, and on top of this nuclear power is also an environmentally friendly and reliable source of large amounts of electricity”.
Pakize Ayse Cigal, Ankara, bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering at Hacettepe University (Ankara), SPbPU master's degree graduate in 2021: “I have always dreamed of studying abroad, so after completing my bachelor's degree at a Turkish university, I started looking for opportunities to continue my studies in my branch. It was not difficult to get used to the Russian education system, but, unlike Turkey, exams were held verbally. In general, the training is structured in such a way that the student is motivated not to cram, but to study, that is, to meaningfully master certain disciplines. Turbochargers, heat transfer, principles of combined heat and power plants operation, numerical analysis - all these subjects were not easy, but it was very exciting to study”.
Ferit Kamil Sadak, Ankara, bachelor's degree in energy systems engineering at Atilim University (Ankara), SPbPU master's degree graduate in 2021: “Akkuyu NPP construction project and the personnel training program for the nuclear power plant are of great importance for our country. For me, a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, participation in this program was an excellent opportunity to get additional education, and further to work at a prestigious project and constantly grow professionally. Watching the first nuclear power plant in Turkey being built, put into operation and start generating electricity, and moreover, participating in these processes myself is an invaluable experience for me. Turkey relies on imports of energy resources, which leads to the country’s current account deficit. Nuclear energy will help to solve this problem”.
Yunus Emre Tayfun, Adana, bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Electronics at Iskenderun Technical University, SPbPU master's degree graduate in 2021: “Due to the fact that our training took place at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, practical training and internships were held online, but despite that there was discipline in everything: the classes were held in strict compliance with the program. The teachers constantly reminded us that, while working at a nuclear power plant, it is necessary to fulfill our duties as seriously, carefully and responsibly as possible, that communication between the employees of a nuclear power plant is based on clear rules, any action is recorded. We learned in detail about the principles of nuclear power plants operation, the materials used, safety systems, equipment, and successfully passed all the exams. From the point of professional competencies, the training was very effective, and we are already eager to get down to work and test our skills in action”.
Target training program of Akkuyu NPP operating personnel is implemented on the basis of the “Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on cooperation in the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant at the Akkuyu NPP site in the Republic of Turkey” with the aim of training specialists from among the citizens of the Republic of Turkey and their further employment at AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC. The education program was initiated by AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC in 2011. The costs of training specialists are covered by the Russian side.
Training takes place at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (NRNU MEPhI) and Peter the Great St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University (SPbPU). The first students from Turkey started their studies at Russian universities in 2011 under the “Nuclear Plants: Design, Operation and Engineering” specialists education program.
In total, 186 Turkish young specialists (35 graduates in 2018, 53 in 2019, 55 in 2020 and 43 in 2021) have completed the training course within target training program for Akkuyu NPP personnel. All of them were employed by AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC and are now successfully working on the first nuclear power plant construction project in Turkey. Currently, 85 Turkish students continue their studies within the program, including 36 at MEPhI and 49 at SPbPU. Another group of 25 bachelor’s degree graduates from Turkish universities, selected this year to study at the SPbPU master's program, will start their studies in the fall of 2021.