Friday, December 16 2016 13:40
Alexandr Avanesov

Experts: IAEA latest studies show Armenian NPP safety is at proper level

Experts: IAEA latest studies show Armenian NPP safety  is at proper  level

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.

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