ArmInfo. In April 2018, the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP) will be stopped for a five-month scheduled preventive maintenance in order to carry out work under the program to extend the life of the second power unit. On February 13, Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Hayk Harutyunyan told reporters.
According to him, the implementation of the project will not only prolong the life of the operating unit until 2026, but will also increase its efficiency by 10% with an increase in the unit capacity by 40 MW. Of the total investment program worth $ 300 million, $ 170 million will be used to increase the security level of the block. At the same time, discussions continue on the construction of a new nuclear power plant. The Armenian government, the deputy minister continued, is inclined to the option of erecting small modular units with a capacity of up to 50 MW each. The final decision on this issue will be made by the executive body within the next two years.
Answering the question about the requirements of the European Union on the early closure of the ANPP due to its unreliability in terms of safety, Hayk Harutyunyan again noted that the station cannot work forever. The International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA) is in charge of security of the station, which periodically conducts research and issues recommendations. Up to 2015, a total of $ 150 million was invested to improve the safety of the station. In the same Europe, the deputy minister continued, the life of similar blocks is extended by 30 years, not 10 years. "No one has any illusions that the station will work forever," Hayk Harutyunyan said.
On January 30, responding to a question from ArmInfo, Dirk Lorenz, deputy head of the Eastern Partnership at the European External Relations Service, said that the European Union continues to insist on the early closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant, since it is impossible even to upgrade its security level to international standards even by modernization.
At the same time, earlier, responding to the question of ArmInfo about the possibility of an alternative to renewable energy sources to nuclear energy by 2026, Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Hayk Harutyunyan did not rule out such a development of events. "Currently, the situation in the market of alternative energy is developing at a rapid pace, the accumulation technologies are developing rapidly, and everything is possible in this context," the deputy minister stressed, adding that at this stage it is not necessary to talk about replacing nuclear energy with an alternative. He recalled that Armenia in the energy sector is focusing its efforts on the implementation of three main tasks: liberalization of the electricity market, development of alternative and renewable energy and extension of the life of the power unit of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant N2. According to the energy security strategy of the Republic of Armenia, by 2020, 20% of all electricity generated in Armenia will be accounted for by alternative and renewable sources of generation, and by 2026 this figure is planned to be increased to 50%.