Thursday, November 2 2017 16:04
Tatevik Shahunyan

Karen Karapetyan: Armenia`s nuclear power plant will operate till 2027

Karen Karapetyan: Armenia`s nuclear power plant will operate till 2027

ArmInfo.The Armenian NPP  will operate until 2027. Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan  stated this at a press conference.

He assured that the operation of the Armenian NPP meets safety  standards, and there are ongoing works on its modernization. "Armenia  was and will remain a country with nuclear power," Karapetyan said.

The Armenia-EU framework agreement, in particular, refers to the  importance of compliance with the IAEA standards at a high level. 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.

The demand 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 Christie 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 Traian Christie 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 EUR. In addition, the EU  offered 200 million EUR for the closure of the ANPP, but the Armenian  side rejected this proposal, considering these volumes insufficient  to ensure the country's energy security.

Touching upon this, in an interview with RIA Novosti Armenian  President Serzh Sargsyan stated that the discussions on the closure  of the Metsamor nuclear power plant are artificially initiated and  have nothing to do with reality. "In the draft agreement with the EU,  this item was formulated by default (meaning the objective lifetime  of the Metsamor nuclear power plant.) The Armenian government decided  to extend the life of the Armenian nuclear power plant in March 2014.  The NPP will be extended through the Russian state export credit in  the amount of $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30 million.Today,  together with the state corporation Rosatom, the work on the  implementation of the extension program operation of the second power  unit of nuclear power plants It is important to note that the NPP  operates in full compliance with the IAEA criteria, and this is the  conclusion of international specialized agencies. Measures to enhance  project and operational safety and modernization are being  implemented, so that Metsamor NPP will last until 2027. We believe  that nuclear power will always be present in Armenia for its  security, primarily energy," he 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. So far, there have  been five meetings of the JCC.

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