Tuesday, October 24 2017 17:49
Alexandr Avanesov

Deputy: If Armenia loses nuclear power, it will become a banana republic

Deputy: If Armenia loses nuclear power, it will become a banana  republic

ArmInfo. Statements by  Armenian officials on the possibility of replacing the nuclear power  plant with alternative sources of energy can not but cause concern.  With such a statement on October 24 from the rostrum of the National  Assembly of the republic made a former Prime Minister of RA, MP from  the opposition faction "Elk" ("Exit") Aram Sargsyan.

According to him, Armenia's nuclear power industry has no  alternative. The WWER reactor at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is  guaranteed to provide the republic with electricity at an affordable  price.  Neither wind nor solar energy has such capabilities, and  hydropower requires large areas that the country does not have.  Thermal energy gives such an opportunity, but it is too expensive.  Even Iran, possessing serious reserves of hydrocarbon raw materials,  builds atomic blocs. Moreover, official Tehran sets itself the task  of becoming a country that produces nuclear fuel. "Armenia should  have not only a nuclear power plant but also a country that has its  own uranium. There are all technical, material, and political  opportunities for the republic. There are 34 uranium deposits in  Armenia, mainly in Syunik and Vayots Dzor. The country's  participation in the International Center in Angarsk in Russia also  gives this opportunity," Aram Sargsyan said, urging the ruling  Republican Party to address this issue. "If we lose nuclear power, we  will turn into a banana republic," the deputy 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 state export credit for this purpose to Armenia for $ 270 million  and a grant of $ 30 million. In March 2015, a Joint Coordination  Committee (JCC) was established to implement the program. Up to now,  five meetings of the JCC were held.

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