ArmInfo. On October 18-19, an American delegation will visit Armenia to study the possibilities of cooperation with the Laboratory of Technical and Criminal Expertise of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials, recently established in the country. ArmInfo was informed about this in the State Committee for Science of Armenia.
The committee was reminded that the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant in cooperation with the National Polytechnic University of Armenia created the laboratory. 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.
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 Combine 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, 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. 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 laboratory is located in the city of Metsamor, where the Armenian NPP functions. It will be fully profitable in the very near future. In addition to the NPP of the Republic of Armenia, its base will be accessible to scientific institutions and universities, including scientific institutions of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS RA), Yerevan State University, Yerevan Institute of Physics, Armat. As ArmInfo informed, the government of Armenia presents a strategy for managing radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. In order to develop the document, a working group was established with the participation of representatives of various departments. The group includes experts from the Ministry of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Nature Protection, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as the National Security Service, the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), the State Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee. The very process of developing the strategy was completed on May 20, 2017.
Earlier, the General Director of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant Movses Vardanyan informed the ArmInfo correspondent that all spent nuclear fuel at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is more than safely stored in four compartments of the spent nuclear fuel storage facility, and can stay there for 50 years. According to the official website of the State Committee for Regulation of Nuclear Safety under the Government of Armenia, the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) of the Armenian NPP is involved until 2020. Gosatomnadzor republic on August 1, 2000 issued a license to operate the storage facility for a period of 20 years. The storage of type NUHOMS-56 consists of 11 horizontal modules with 616 heat- insulated containers. In 2005, the Armenian parliament decided to expand the storage facility, which will allow storing up to 1890 containers for at least 50 years.
On January 24 of this year, within the framework of the visit of Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, to Armenia, Rosatom and the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia signed a protocol on implementation of practical measures to fulfill the obligations stipulated in the agreement on prompt notification of a nuclear accident and information exchange in the field nuclear and radiation safety.
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.