ArmInfo. The requirements of the European Union on the closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant concern the decommissioning of the first power unit of the plant. The Director General of the Scientific Research Institute , Professor Vahram Petrosyan, stated this on October 27 at the press conference in Yerevan.
According to him, the first unit is currently not in operation, and the second unit is carrying out measures to extend the period of its operation for a period of 10 years. At present, the block on the basis of international experience with Russian specialists is carrying out a program to extend the life of the A2A2 power unit until the year 2026, inclusive. In this case, the first power unit will become a donor for the second. Vahram Petrosyan reminded that, as a rule, 30 years or more extends the service life of such units. Examples of Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland - a clear proof of this.
The professor noted the need for parallel development of alternative and renewable energy, but nuclear energy has no alternative, since it concerns both the security of the energy complex of Armenia and the country as a whole. "We will not be able to provide other alternative sources of industrial importance in the coming years," Vahram Petrosyan said. He stressed that according to all international expert assessments, the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is a safe facility that will function until alternative capacities are created. And these capacities are associated with the construction of a new block of medium capacity or several small units. In the next 2 years this project will be reflected in the decision of the Armenian government.
The chairman of the Nuclear Energy Security Council under the President of the Republic of Armenia Miroslav Lipar (Slovakia), responding to the question of ArmInfo, noted that Armenia is visited periodically by various specialized missions, including the IAEA, which issue opinions and recommendations that allow to constantly raise safety level of the Armenian NPP. These works are carried out in accordance with the experience accumulated in other countries on similar blocks with the WWER reactor - Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary. In countries where nuclear power plants are in operation, extending their life is a standard procedure.
Even in the United States, where the lifetime of nuclear reactors is limited to 40 years, work is now being carried out to extend the life of the reactors by another 20 years. "In Armenia and Slovakia, the operating lifetimes of operating reactors are 30 years, but there are all grounds for extending their operation for another 10 years, after which, after carrying out the relevant surveys, it will be possible to conclude that the future of the blocks will continue," Miroslav Lipar said. Armenia, according to him, benefits from constant inspections of the state of its nuclear power unit. Earlier, Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia Ashot Manukyan noted that the capabilities of the second power unit of the ANPP are not infinite, but it will work as long as the resource allows. Only after that it will be closed, and in exchange a new atomic block will be built.
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. So far, there have been five meetings of the JCC.
The Council for the Safety of Atomic Energy under the President of the Republic of Armenia was established in 1996 by a presidential decree. This independent advisory body was created on the basis of the need to ensure the further safe operation of the Armenian nuclear power plant. The council is formed of scientists and specialists of the sphere, having international recognition and authority. The activities of the Council are carried out through meetings of the Council, which are convened once a year. According to the Charter, the main tasks of the Council are: formation of safety of nuclear energy and priority directions of its development, development of recommendations on problems and preparation of proposals, analysis and examination of draft normative legal acts submitted to the President of the Republic of Armenia regarding peaceful and safe use of atomic energy.