ArmInfo. Discussions about the closure of Metsamor NPP are artificially initiated, and have nothing to do with reality. This was stated in an interview to RIA Novosti by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
So, the question about the agreement on Armenia's comprehensive and expanded partnership with the European Union, which is expected to be signed at the end of November in Brussels within the framework of the Eastern Partnership summit, contains a clause providing for the closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor and when that happens, Sargsyan in particular, said: "In the draft agreement with the EU, this paragraph was formulated by default (meaning the objective lifetime of the Metsamor nuclear power plant.) In March 2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the term of exploitation of the Armenians which will be financed from the Russian state export credit for $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30 million, and work is ongoing with the state corporation Rosatom to implement the program for extending the lifetime of the second power unit of the nuclear power plant.
It is important to note that the NPP operates in full accordance with the IAEA criteria, and this is the conclusion of international specialized agencies. Measures are being taken to improve project and operational safety, as well as modernization.
So Metsamor NPP will serve until at least 2027. We believe that for its security, primarily energy, nuclear energy will always be present in Armenia "
The clarifying question that after the signing of this agreement with the EU in November can not be a question of its closure, Sargsyan said: "No, there is no such agreement in the agreement." Earlier, the draft of the Armenia-EU framework agreement was published, which is planned to be signed in November as part of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels. In the part of the agreement on the topic of nuclear safety, the importance of the high-level observance of IAEA standards is pointed out. It is also said about the closure and safe decommissioning of the nuclear power plant in Metsamor and cooperation on the previously adopted road map or action plan, taking into account the need to replace nuclear power plants with new opportunities to ensure Armenia's energy security.
Note that the requirement to close the ANPP is not new for the Armenian side. Back in 1999, the EU insisted on the closure of the second power unit of the ANPP by 2003. However, after the relevant negotiations, an amendment was introduced to this requirement, which read "until the creation of the appropriate capacity." In 2013, head of the EU delegation to Armenia Traian Christiea stressed that the issue of exploitation of the Armenian nuclear power plant is one of the main issues on the agenda of Armenia-EU relations. In 2014, the European Commission again urged Armenia to close the nuclear power plant as soon as possible, as reflected in the European Commission's report on Armenia in the program of the European Neighborhood Policy. In 2015, the same Trajan Khristea reiterated that the early closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant and its decommissioning remained the main goal of the European Union. Despite its demands, the EU continued and continues to provide technical and financial assistance to the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, aimed at improving the safety of the second power unit. According to various estimates, this assistance varies from 70 to 90 million euros. In addition, the EU offered 200 million euros for the closure of the ANPP, but the Armenian side rejected this proposal, considering these volumes insufficient to ensure the country's energy security.
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.