Wednesday, September 20 2017 15:34
Alexandr Avanesov

Armenian Energy Minister and IAEA head discussed implementation of modernization program of Armenian NPP

Armenian Energy Minister and IAEA head discussed implementation of  modernization program of Armenian NPP

ArmInfo. Minister of  Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of  Armenia Ashot Manukyan presented to IAEA Director General Yukio Amano  the process of implementing the program for extending the lifetime of  the second power unit of the Armenian Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at  the 61st General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency  (IAEA) on September 18-22 in Vienna power plants.

According to the press service of the ministry, the Armenian minister  stressed the importance of assistance from the IAEA in the  implementation of programs aimed at improving the level of safety of  the nuclear power plant.During the meeting, the interlocutors also  discussed the program on the closure of the first power unit of the  Armenian NPP and the possible cooperation on this issue on the part  of the IAEA.

Earlier, in an interview with ArmInfo, adviser to the Minister of  Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Areg Galstyan  noted that Armenia has good, fruitful relations with the IAEA. The  station is often visited by professional missions of this structure,  oriented to different directions, from the safety culture to  operation, to the safe use of nuclear fuel. They give  recommendations, comments, which the Armenian side is obliged to  eliminate in certain terms. Once every three years the station  submits a national report to the IAEA. In the spring of this year, a  similar report was submitted. Next year, a report on radioactive  waste and spent nuclear fuel will be presented.

At the ANPP, continuous work is carried out to analyze and improve  the safety parameters. So, since the second power unit was restarted  in 1995, more than 1,400 measures have been taken to improve its  safety.  Armenia accepts regular expert missions and international  inspections, incl. as part of the IAEA's integrated regulatory review  services (the IRRS program). The results of the latest inspections  confirm the high level of safety at the ANPP. The 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. IAEA experts also positively assessed  the work of the Nuclear Energy Safety Council under the President of  the Republic of Armenia, calling it among the best international  practices for regulating the security of the nuclear sphere. The  safety standards of the ANPP ensure that radioactive waste and spent  nuclear fuel from the plant do not pose any danger to anyone. 

The principles of ensuring safety at the ANPP mean that even the  theoretical possibility of exporting nuclear fuel or substances from  the territory of the station is completely excluded. Regarding  radioactive waste, based on IAEA recommendations for the 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 Armenian nuclear power plant consists of two units with  Soviet (Russian) WWER 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.

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