ArmInfo. The implementation of the program to extend the life of Armenian nuclear power plant for a period of 10 years - until 2026 - will allow to increase its level of safety to the highest possible level of modern requirements in accordance with international standards. This and cooperation with IAEA in an interview with ArmInfo was announced by Head of the Energy Department of Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Hayk Badalyan
According to him, at present planned and preventive works are being implemented at the station. The implementation of the project involved Russian loan of $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30 million. "Everything is being done to meet the deadline and complete the program in 2019. The main extent of the work will be in 2018. According to our estimates, by the status to date, all works are being implemented carried out in According to the schedule, the station is of great importance for the energy complex of Armenia for many reasons: it allows to provide basic capacities, restrains the growth of tariffs for electricity, is a separate object of scientific importance, "the head of the department stressed. He also noted that, in parallel with the implementation of the program, negotiations continue on the construction of a new nuclear unit. Of course, while there is no schedule for its construction, approaches are being studied, the design of a new block, technology. "All possible scenarios are discussed," Hayk Badalyan said in response to a request to comment on the statement of the PRC Ambassador to Armenia on the willingness to participate Chinese side in this project in a trilateral format with the participation of Armenia, Russia and China. "The Government of the republic has already expressed its unequivocal position on the need to build a new nuclear power unit, and within the framework of this decision it is necessary to understand the design and technology of the new unit, "said the head of the department.
Answering the question about the safety and environmental friendliness of the ANPP (as the leaders of a number of neighboring states repeatedly say, in the first place, Azerbaijan - Editor's noted), Hayk Badalyan stressed that the Armenian nuclear power plant is under the control of the IAEA. "Results of the Stress test, and the conclusions of IAEA experts indicate that the functioning of the unit in its current state is consistent with all safety standards. After the upgrade, the security level of the unit will be raised to a higher level. The Republic of Armenia pays much attention to safety when using any station, regardless of whether it is an atomic power plant, a thermal power plant or a hydroelectric power station. He also added that from the environmental point of view, strict criteria have been set, which is guided by the station itself and the general contractor for the modernization of the nuclear power plant - Rusatom Service.
It should be noted that the Azerbaijani propaganda demands for the closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant, this is supposedly a dangerous nature of its exploitation and the possibility of smuggling nuclear materials. Meanwhile, ANPP is continuously working to analyze and improve the safety parameters. So, since the second unit was restarted in 1995, more than 1,400 events were held to improve its security. Armenia accepts regular expert missions and international inspections, incl. in the framework of the IAEA's integrated regulatory review services (IRRS program). The results of the latest inspections confirm the high level of safety at ANPP. IAEA, in the course of its mission to Armenia in June 2015, noted the high level of development of the regulatory and legal framework in the field of nuclear and radiation safety.
Experts of IAEA also positively assessed the work of the Council for the Safety of Atomic Energy under the President of the Republic of Armenia, calling it one of the best international practices for regulating the security of the nuclear sphere. As the Director of IAEA Division for the Safety of Nuclear Facilities Greg Rjentkovsky noted, the invitation of IAEA experts by Armenia and the organization of a series of expert inspections testifies to the country's real commitment to ensuring the highest possible level of nuclear safety. Since the work of the Armenian NPP since 1995, there have been no recorded cases of emergency situations or emergency situations. Normally there is also a radiation background around the station.
Regarding radioactive waste, based on IAEA recommendations for ANPP, a "Strategy for the Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel" was developed. The purpose of the program is to bring the level of radioactive waste management at the Armenian NPP to modern requirements. A phased implementation of the program is planned in the period 2016 - 2019, using the loan funds of the life extension project. The nuclear program of Armenia is aimed exclusively at the peaceful use of atomic energy, and any accusations of developing nuclear weapons technologies or illegal trade in radioactive materials are nothing more than speculation of political opponents of Armenia. Armenia joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons back in 1993, which means that the country is covered by IAEA safeguards on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Considering the number of IAEA inspections in the territory of Armenia, in case of any suspicion of any activity related to the creation or proliferation of nuclear weapons, this would be the property of the international community.