ArmInfo. Nuclear power engineering is one of the key components of Armenia's energy security, says Armen Manvelyan, a member of the Association of Political Science of Armenia (APSA), Candidate of Historical Sciences.
Talking to ArmInfo, Manvelyan hailed the NPP life extension project stressing its strategic importance for the nuclear power engineering system of Armenia. Manvelyan believes that Armenian specialists are competitive enough to participate in international tenders of Rosatom, Russia's state-owned nuclear energy company.
"I say this on the ground of the high demand for our specialists in Canada, one of the nuclear energy superpowers. Russian specialists are engaged in the development of nuclear power in Iran. Why shouldn't we do the same having such highly qualified specialists? We must not refuse from our 'school' of power engineering. That is why I emphasize the importance of developing nuclear power engineering in Armenia," he said.
Addressing the construction and exploitation of a new NPP, the expert said he anticipates an increase in the electricity price, as new technologies will be used in the construction.
The Armenian NPP lifespan extension is currently being implemented with the financial support of Russia that provided USD 300million, including USD 270million loan and USD 30million grant.
The Armenian NPP is an analogue of the Russian NPPs. It lies close to earthquake-prone locality, the seismic stability of which is 8-magnitude. Due to that reason the NPP was constructed to persist up to a 9-magnitude earthquake. For instance, in 1988 the Armenian NPP resisted the earthquake in Spitak and continued its operation. The safety system at the Armenian NPP is being constantly modernized to meet international safety standards.
In 2000, a new essential cooling water system was installed at the Plant i.e. in case of an earthquake, the NPP will have its own water reservoir. Besides, the Plan has sensors of the industrial seismic protection system that automatically turn-off the reactor in case of an earthquake measuring 6 points or higher. The Plant has a special bunker where the accident management brigades can hide in case of an accident or other emergency situations. Safety culture level is very high at the plant, as all the staff members regularly train on special training simulators.