Wednesday, August 17 2016 11:44
Alina Hovhannisyan

Expert: Nuclear power plant irreplaceable power source for Armenia

Expert: Nuclear power plant irreplaceable power source for Armenia

ArmInfo. At present Armenia has no alternative to the nuclear power in the context of ensuring the necessary energy balance for the country, Vardan Bostanjyan, Armenian economist, Doctor of Science, Economics, former member of the Armenian parliament, told ArmInfo.

Recalling that the Armenian nuclear power plant (NPP) accounted for 35%-40% of total electric power generation in Armenia within long years, Bostanjyan said: "Our water resources are insufficient for ensuring the total energy balance of the country. Import of fuel oil and gas is a very expensive for production of electric power by the heat power plants. Consequently, NPP is a vital necessity for Armenia," Bostanjyan explained. 

In his words, the NPP is being modernized consistently and its operation is absolutely safe. In this light the expert pointed at Lifetime Extension Project of unit No.2 of Armenian NPP that is being implemented on the Russian US$270 million loan and US$30 million grant. "To ensure the energy security and independence of Armenia in the future as well, I see the Russian model of NPP construction. After all, it is Russia that can help Armenia built a new NPP, whether we want it or not," Bostanjyan said. So far, he added, the construction of a new NPP is just talks. At the current stage, the Lifetime Extension Project of unit No.2 of Armenian NPP is being 
implemented with the participation of Rusatom Service's specialists, which is very important and speaks of the project's success, the expert said.  At the same time, Bostanjyan does not think that any third countries should be involvement in the implementation of the given project. 

To recall, the Armenian NPP, the only NPP in the region, is located near the town of Metsamor (some 30km to the south of Yerevan). The first unit was put into exploitation in 1976, the second in 1980. At the beginning of 1989, the plant was closed down for political ideas, and then the second unit was reactivated because of acute energy crisis at the beginning of 1995. Two power units of Russian model pressurized water reactor- 440, with capacity of 815 megawatt in 
total were installed at the Armenian NPP. Experts say the Plant will be able to operate till 2016. At present measures are being taken to prolong the lifespan of the Armenian NPP till 2026.  Armenia and Russia signed in Moscow an agreement implying provision of 270 mln 
USD loan to Armenia for 15 years at 3% p.a. In addition, Russia will grant 30 mln USD to Armenia for the same purposes.  Rusatom Service, Rosatom SC, is the general contractor of the project.

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