ArmInfo. A powerful scientific and educational cluster on nuclear research can be formed in Armenia. The first step in this direction will be the creation of a laboratory for technical and criminal expertise of nuclear and radioactive materials. A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a joint laboratory was signed between CJSC "Armenian Nuclear Power Plant" and the National Polytechnic University of Armenia.
Commenting on this fact, Deputy Dean of the Energy Department of the National Scientific and Practical Center of Armenia, Aram Gevorgyan noted that the joint laboratory for nuclear and radioactive materials will be created jointly by the Regional Center for Nuclear Safety Research of the NPP and the Laboratory of External Radiation Control of the Armenian NPP. It is designed to combine scientific and educational activities in the field of technical and criminological expertise of nuclear and radioactive materials aimed at coordinating, increasing the effectiveness and level of international recognition of research in Armenia in these areas.
Aram Gevorgyan emphasized that the main activities of the laboratory will be technical and crimiological examination of nuclear and radioactive materials, detection and neutralization of uncontrolled or unused radioactive sources, development of a scientific and technical analysis of the prospects for the development of nuclear power in the country. For example, at present, Gevorgyan continued, the laboratory has already received the first order for research of rock samples taken from the territory adjacent to the Kapan Mining and Processing Plant and its tailing dumps for the presence of radioactive materials in them. In other words, in addition to scientific research, the work of the laboratory will be of an applied nature.
Much attention will be paid to the development and implementation of scientific, technical and scientific and educational programs in the field of technological and criminological expertise of nuclear radioactive materials, development and implementation of educational programs, preparation and implementation of scientific and educational grant projects, organization of conferences, youth schools and other scientific events. It is also expected that the laboratory will develop projects in the field of non-energy nuclear technologies, especially in such areas as nuclear medicine, nuclear agriculture, etc. In the future, the laboratory will be replenished with appropriate equipment. In the process of project development, scientists, as well as teachers of higher education institutions and students will be actively involved. The expert stressed that the laboratory will be located in the city of Metsamor, where the Armenian nuclear power plant functions. It will be fully profitable in the very near future. In addition to NPPs and NPCs of the Republic of Armenia, its base will be accessible to scientific institutions and universities, including scientific institutions of the National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan State University, Yerevan Institute of Physics, "Armatom" Research Institute. Earlier, in the interview to ArmInfo, the senior researcher of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, the candidate of physical and mathematical sciences Hrach Torosyan, spoke about the need to form a scientific and educational cluster around the Armenian nuclear power plant and the Yerevan Institute of Physics. According to him, the institute is ready to lend a helping hand in creating such a cluster, and establishing mutually beneficial cooperation. Armenian nuclear power plant is located in Metsamor, it consists of two units with Soviet (Russian) reactors. The first unit was commissioned in 1976, the second - in 1980. In March 1989, after the Spitak earthquake, which killed 25 thousand people, the station's work was stopped. In November 1995, in connection with the most acute energy crisis, the second power unit of the station with a capacity of 407.5 MW was involved. In March 2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the life of the second power unit by 10 years - until 2026. The project is coordinated by the subsidiary structure of the State Corporation Rosatom - JSC Rusatom Service. Completion of work is planned for 2019. The Government of the Russian Federation allocated a $ 270 million state export loan to Armenia and a $ 30 million grant for these purposes. In March 2015, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) was established to implement the program. To date, four meetings of the JCC have been held.