ArmInfo. Proper shutdown of the Armenian nuclear power plant (NPP) will cost country about $300 million, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia Areg Galstyan told ArmInfo.
He said the strategy of the proper shutdown of the plant needs revision. The given procedures will be held in cooperation with the European Union experts. Deputy Minister said Armenia has envisaged the shutdown of the plant by creating a special Fund that is replenished from the nuclear power tariff. Vache Gabrielyan, Minister of International Economic Integration and Reforms, chairs the Fund. The Fund is replenished by about $1 million every year. Of course, the required amount will not be accumulated by 2026 when the NPP will need shutdown. Furthermore, after implementation of the Lifetime Extension Project of unit No.2 of the Armenian NPP, more financing will be required within 10-12 years to maintain the Plant. The financing problem cannot be settled by raising the tariff, considering the social problems in the country, the deputy minister said. However, he said, there are also other options directly connected with the project of the new nuclear power unit.
Earlier, the EU suggested $200 million for shutdown of the Armenian NPP, but the authorities declined the given initiative considering the important role of the Plant in the social and economic life of Armenia.
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.