Monday, February 6 2017 12:46
Alexandr Avanesov

Armenian Energy Ministry: works on NPP 2nd unit lifetime extension to be continued in 2017

Armenian Energy Ministry:  works on NPP 2nd unit lifetime extension  to be continued in 2017

ArmInfo. In 2017 the works  on implementation of the NPP 2nd energy unit lifetime extension  project will be continued.  According to Artem  Petrosyan the Head of  Nuclear Energy Department of Armenia Ministry of Energy  Infrastructures and Natural Resources, it is planned  for this year  to implement design works on general equipment, systems and buildings   replacement, on justification for remaining equipment recording, on  radioactive safety level improvement. As the result,   the second  unit general equipment  modernization project will be developed, and  justification prepared  regarding operation of equipment which is not  subject to replace. 

Accoprding to Artyom Poghosyan, the first stage of works on unit  lifetime extension , which was planned for the year of 2016,  is  completed successfully. More that 4500 equipment items were  investigated, new equipment and spare parts for those was purchased,  in the result of which the option of lifetime extension was approved. 

According to the information of the Ministry of Infrastructures and  natural Resources of Armenia, the works implemented within the  project, showed the absence of any  defects that could become an  obstacle for 10 year lifetime extension.  Earlier in his interview to  ArmInfo, Gera Sevikyan, the NPP Deputy Director General, told that a   huge volume of works never done before  has been completed within the  period of regular/preventive maintenance at Armenian Nuclear Plant.  According to him, a detailed complex study has been conducted in  respect to the reactor and to  all he heat production related  facilities. The process was supervised by four large companies - two  from Russia and two from Croatia.  Starting from December 13,  Armenian Nuclear Plant resumed the power supplies after regular  renovation.  It was disconnected from ther network on September 20  for  the maintenance and refilling. Works are implemented by Rusatom  Service, which is subsidiary of Rosatom State Concern.  Folllowing  Sevikyan, the main thing is that no derivations were found out at the  unit that could turn an obstacle for its further operation. The  thorium reactor is in pristine condition, and there is nothing  discovered that could inspire any doubt for its proper work in the  future. As Sevikyan accentuated, the steam generator condition is  much better than expected. "We were going to block about 400 pipes of  the generator, but based on results of the study, decided to block  only 200, and the difference is essential. One should mention that if  during 30 years about 4,5%  of the pipes was blocked, now we got  limited with only 0,5%. This shows that Armenian NPP has a resource  enough to produce power during next 30 years," he noted.

The expert informed also, that works on studies of different segments  of the block are still in progress. The main task will be to develop  a justification for NPP further operation. This work will be  continued in 2017.  About 70% of the systems were checked this year,  and the remainin 30% will be checked within a short regular  maintenance planned to implement in 2017. The block will be stopped  at that time for the period of 40-45 days. After that the authorized  entities will have to adjust and justify  the results, and the  appropriate term of the equipment mentioned will be estimated. " In  essence, it is possible not to replace it, but we must have known all  the weal points to develop the schedule of necessary replacements,:   the NPP Deputy Director said.

He informed also that in 2018 the main front of works will be related  to the reactor cooler systems, which will give an option to improve  the safety of the block  closer to international standards. Besides,  there is a huge volume of works in respect to power generation  equipment modernization  - separators, exit transformers, turbines  etc. Currently the block is being operated under 92% of  its  capacity, which forms about 380 mWt. After the modernization the  capacity will increase up to 470-480 mWt, which will become an  essential addition , rendering an option to start paying the USD 270  mln loan disposed by Russia.  Talking about the probability of  extension of the NPP resource after the year of 2026, Sevikyan  mentioned that a pretty large resource has been considered while  developing the project of Armenian  NPP, assuming the capital check  of the station after 30 years of operation. "There are no nuclear  plants in the world, which resource have not been extended.  Even in  US tere is an extension practice - for 60, 80 years  and even  for  more. The construction of new plant is 10-15 times more expensive  than extension of the resource. Hence, we think that the resource of  Armenian  NPP will be extended also after 2026,"the expert  accentuated.  To remind, in March 2014 Armenian Government took a  decision on  extension of ANPPP 2nd unit lifetime due to the new  nuclear block construction being postponed.  Rosatom and domestic  specialists and experts agreed to work on the Project on Operation  Lifetime Extension for 10 years - until 2026.  The works are planned  to be completed in 2019.  Within this purpose, a USD 270 mln loan and  USD 30 mln grant were allocated to Armenia by Russia.

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