ArmInfo. Armenia expands format of cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Director General of "Armenian Nuclear Plant" CJSC Movses Vardanyan stated on September 9 answering to ArmInfo's question.
According to him, IAEA mission visited the station a month ago studying the NPP Unit 2 life extension program. It is anticipated that similar mission will be conducted in December. IAEA usually conducts examinations in those countries, which undergo NPP life extension program. "We consider these missions as assistance to Armenia by such a reputable organization. Mainly experts from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria conduct the research, as these countries use water reactors", the Director of the plant stated noting that in the NPP located in Dukovany, the Chezh Republic, examination of 5 thousand junctions was conducted. In Armenia the number of examined junctions is much more. Movses Vardanyan noted that in 2016 a huge number of inspection tests will be held. "We will try to ensure the highest level", Vardanyan stated.
To note, IAEA has never publicly voiced any critical remarks related to safety level of the Armenian NPP. Armenia became member of IAEA in 1993.
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. The share of NPP in total electricity output is 40%. At present measures are being taken to prolong the lifespan of the Armenian NPP till 2027. 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. However, only construction of the new unit of NPP will solve problem of supplying electricity in the country. The cost of construction is 5 bln USD.