Thursday, September 8 2016 09:50
Alexandr Avanesov

Deputy Minister: Armenia weighs possibility of building several mid-size nuclear power generating units

Deputy Minister: Armenia weighs possibility of building several mid-size nuclear power generating units

ArmInfo. Armenia will be building a new nuclear power generating unit on the existing technology, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Areg Galstyan told ArmInfo.

The deputy minister said he is speaking about two-circuit units with light water reactor (VVER).  It is necessary considering the experience of operation and the reliable construction technology of the given type of reactors.  Areg Galsyan said there is a high probability that the given type of reactors will be selected. He recalled that the political decision on the construction of a new nuclear power generating unit has been adopted  - it will be a unit with a capacity of up to 600MW.  "Another matter if it will be a single unit or several mid-size ones," he said adding that the Ministry closely follows the situation in the world market and the new technologies of using light water reactors. It is anticipated that the new unit will be built by 2027 when lifetime of the unit No.2 of the Armenian NPP comes to an end.

In accordance with the government decree of July 31, 2014 on the approval of the action plan for 2014-2020, the commission date of the new nuclear unit is synchronized with the decommissioning date of the operating unit. 

In December 2014 and February 2015 the governments of the Republic of Armenia and Russian Federation signed agreements on cooperation in the project for extension of operation of unit-2 and extension of a state export loan to the government of the Republic of Armenia.  Both agreements have come into force and the work has commenced.

To note, the Armenian NPP consists of two power units with the capacity of 400 megawatt each. But only one of these two power units is operating at present. The first unit was commissioned in 1976, the second one in 1980. At the beginning of 1989, the plant was decommissioned following the Spitak earthquake in December 1988. In early 1995 the second unit was re-launched. The ANPP's power output makes up nearly 40% of the total power generated in the republic. In March 2014, the Government adopted a decision to extend the lifetime of the unit No.2 of the NPP in view of the delay with the construction of the new power unit. 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. The NPP will be modernized at the expense of the Russian  $270 mln loan and the Russian $30 mln grant funds.  The project will be implemented by the late 2019.   The power supply problem in the country will be finally settled after the construction of the new nuclear power generating unit that will cost the country $5 billion.

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