ArmInfo. IAEA nuclear safety group experts completed the estimation of Armenian NPP operational safety. According to the information of organization, the group of experts comprising specialists from Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, India, Ukraine and IAEA, has estimated the ANPP structure, as well as long-term operation related projects, including human resources and management. Experts mentioned several pluses in NPP work. Among those pluses is the Seismic safety estimation and safety modernization, the report reads. For instance, an approach should be developed and implemented at NPP, according to which all the safety related systems should be estimated from the point of view of their long term operation. The NPP management stated the willingness to follow al the recommendations and asked IAEA to plan the second mission approximately after 18 months. The report will be put under review at IAEA head office, and the final report wil ber submitted within three months.
Ara Mardjanyan, the UN expert on energy issues thinks that at the stage of designing the NPP a right choice was made in respect to the technological equipment of the plant. Further events showed that the choice made was justified and proper one. "The units mounted have an essential resource of own safety, and kept working during Spitak earthquake. What is to seismic resistance, after Fukushima disaster a complete geophysical study was conducted in Armenia with leadeing experts involved. Armenia is interested in safety of own citizens," Mardjanyan stated.
Armen Poghosyan, the Armenian Consumers Union Chairman, commenting the results of IAEA inspection, stated that " It is already 40 years that Armenian NPP is under operation, and during whole the period mentioned not any single serious incident was fixed. The latest IAEA inspection showed that the safety of Armenian NPP is at proper level."
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.
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.