ArmInfo. Nuclear power plant operating in Armenia meets all the up-to-date safety requirements and poses no threat, Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin told ArmInfo commenting the claims of Azerbaijan, Turkey and West saying that the Armenian NPP is dangerous to the region.
"It is important to ensure proper operation and maintenance. Armenia has very good specialists who do it at the highest level. I think, there is no threat. Everyone understands that we cannot do without nuclear power, and we are running out of the natural resources like gas and oil, while nuclear power accounts for a significant part of power engineering in Armenia, and in most countries, European ones, U.S. and Russia. It is simply necessary to operate the plants properly," the diplomat said.
To note, on September 19 the nuclear power plant (NPP) was taken offline for regularly scheduled maintenance till November 18. Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia told ArmInfo that standard procedures will be carried out within the two months of the plant's suspension. In addition, under the Lifetime Extension Project of unit No.2 of the Armenian NPP, a complex of measures will be taken to probe the state of the reactor vessel and the equipment of the primary coolant equipment of the nuclear island. Afterwards, the modernization project will undergo changes basing on the accurate data on the state of the equipment, metal, management system pipelines and many others, Areg Galstyan said. To recall, 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.
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 2027.