Adoption of the legislative framework regarding the construction and operation of nuclear power plants ("NPP") has been an ongoing process in Turkey since 1960s, which gained significant momentum after the signing of a nuclear cooperation agreement between Turkey and Russia for the Akkuyu project in 2010. Most recently, an important piece of such legislation, namely the Regulation on Construction Supervision of NPPs ("Regulation"), has been published in the Official Gazette on 31 March 2017.
According to the Regulation, the project company ("Owner"), which has obtained a license from the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority ("TAEK") in order to construct a NPP, shall execute a services agreement with one or more NPP construction supervision companies prior to commencing the construction, manufacturing and assembly of the relevant NPP for supervision of these activities in order to ensure its construction in line with the nuclear security principles and related legislation and standards.
The Owner shall submit the services agreement to TAEK within 30 days following its execution. The Regulation also lists the contents that must be included under the services agreements. However, supervision by the construction supervision company shall not be deemed as a substitute for TAEK's supervision authority.
Liabilities of the Owner
The Owner has a sole and strict liability for carrying out the activities regarding NPPs in line with the related legislation including construction, manufacturing and assembly of the facility, system and its components. The Owner shall obtain all necessary consents, approvals, licenses, permits certificates and other documents from the relevant public authorities. However, obtaining these consents, permits, licenses and similar authorizations or supervision of the activities by the public authorities or NPP construction supervision companies shall not release the Owner from its liabilities.
The Owner shall be liable to choose the appropriate NPP construction supervision company by considering the scope and nature of the work amongst the companies accredited by TAEK.
Authorizations and Duties of the Construction Supervision Companies
NPP construction supervision companies can hire subcontractors for the supervision services they have undertaken, provided that the scope of the subcontract does not exceed 30% of the services designated under the services agreement. The supervision company shall remain liable for the quality of the work it has subcontracted. Whilst the NPP construction supervision companies are liable for the quality of the supervision services, this does not limit or release the liability of the Owner as explained above.
Term and Scope of the Authorization Certificates
Institutions wishing to operate as a NPP construction supervision company shall apply to TAEK for accreditation by submitting the documents listed under the Regulation. Applications are assessed by TAEK within 30 working days, which may be extended if deemed necessary. In the event TAEK detects any deficiency, incompliance or inadequacy, it may request elimination of these problems within the designated time periods.
Authorization certificates are granted for 5 years. However, term of these certificates can be renewed for another 5 years by applying to TAEK at least 2 months prior to its expiration by depositing a renewal fee.
Authorization conditions stating the scope of the authorization of the supervision companies are given as a complementary attachment to the authorization certificate.
Activities of the NPP construction supervision companies shall be subject to nuclear security supervision of the TAEK throughout the term of the authorization certificate. TAEK shall take into consideration the severity, importance and emergency of the breach whilst imposing sanctions to NPP construction supervision companies.
Effectiveness of the Regulation
In relation to the construction supervision works of the NPP projects which are ongoing as of the enforcement date of the Regulation, (i) the agreements executed prior to enforcement date of the Regulation shall be submitted to TAEK within 30 days following the enforcement date of the Regulation, (ii) the supervision companies that have entered into services agreements shall obtain authorization from the TAEK within 1 year following the enforcement date of the Regulation, and (iii) services agreements shall be amended so as to comply with the Regulation following the authorization of the supervision companies by the TAEK.
NPPs to be established can obtain the construction supervision services commencing within 6 months following the enforcement date of the Regulation from unauthorized institutions by submitting an application to the TAEK.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.