Wednesday, December 13 2017 14:44
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Deputy Minister: Prolonging the life of the second power unit of the nuclear power plant, Armenia will have time to decide on the technologies and capacities of the new nuclear power unit

Deputy Minister: Prolonging the life of the second power unit of the nuclear power plant, Armenia will have time to decide on the technologies and capacities of the new nuclear power unit

ArmInfo. Prolonging the life of the second power unit at the nuclear power plant in Metsamor, Armenia will have time to decide on the technologies and capacities of the new nuclear power unit. Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Hayk Harutyunyan stated this in an interview with ArmInfo, commenting on the European Union requirements for the closure of the ANPP.

According to the deputy minister, the operating unit of the Armenian nuclear power plant, no doubt, can not function forever. The Armenian side in accordance with an agreement with the EU "On a Comprehensive and Expanded Partnership", concluded in Brussels on November 24, has committed itself to developing a roadmap for decommissioning a block, rather than for shutting down nuclear power plants, as the media sometimes do.

"Today, significant financial resources are invested in the implementation of the project to extend the life of the second power unit of the Armenian nuclear power plant in order, on the one hand, to provide the republic with electricity at the required level and at an affordable price, and on the other, to increase its safety," said the deputy minister, adding that after the block resource is exhausted, it will be stopped. "But it will be stopped only if the necessary replacement capacities are created, which is what the document itself says," Hayk Harutyunyan said. He also pointed to the fact that the nuclear energy market is actively developing. "We will try to find the most successful solution for both the energy sector and the Armenian economy," the Deputy Minister stated.

Earlier, at a press conference in Yerevan, the Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia Ashot Manukyan noted that the second unit of the Armenian NPP will work as much as the resource will allow. Only after that it will be closed, and in exchange a new atomic block will be built. The minister noted that the government of the Republic of Armenia and its department are inclined to the projects of construction of modular nuclear reactors with a capacity of 50 MW.

Currently, these reactors are in the testing phase, and are expected to be erected within the next two years.  For this reason, the Armenian government postponed consideration of the issue of the capacity of the new nuclear power plant for 2 years.  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 to Armenia for this purpose in the amount of $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30 million. In March 2015, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) was established to implement the program. To date, five meetings of the JCC were held.

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