ArmInfo. The construction of a new nuclear power unit of the Armenian nuclear power plant should speak after 2026. The chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs stated this in a conversation with the ArmInfo correspondent RA Vazgen Safaryan, commenting on the issue of absence of references to the construction of a new block in the government program.
At the same time, as the expert stressed, at present the station is implementing a program to extend the life of the second of the power unit of the Armenian NPP, according to which, after modernization, the unit will be able to function until the end of 2026, providing consumers with electricity at an affordable price.
Before this date, Armenia must decide on the options for building a new block. "Life has shown that we can not ensure energy balance without nuclear energy, this is the opinion of the Public Council, and we will form public opinion around this opinion," the head of the Union said, stressing that the main issue of the program's implementation should be to ensure the proper level of security. All the talk about the possibility of replacing the nuclear power plant with alternative sources of generation, just talk. It's just about alternative energy, the development of which is necessary, but the wind or the sun, unlike the atom, will never be basic. "We should never discount the rather low tariff for electricity produced by nuclear power plants, which is extremely important in Armenia's current socio-economic conditions," the economist believes.
Vazgen Safaryan stressed that the nuclear power industry provides for the formation of a whole scientific cluster. It promotes the development of science and technology. "This would be a very promising direction not only for the development of Russian science, the process of training scientific personnel will continue, the national security component will also increase," said the head of the Union, adding that in this understanding the construction of a new nuclear power unit is the right decision, will lead to the development of nuclear medicine, nuclear agriculture and other spheres. As an example, he cited the creation of the Center for Excellence in Oncology, which provides for the use of nuclear technology in the medical industry. "This direction can become an entirely new direction in the development of domestic medicine," Vazgen Safaryan said.
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.