Wednesday, December 13 2017 16:49
Naira Badalian

Andrei Babko: To prove the expediency of having an atomic power plant or to agree with the arguments of the EU is up to Armenian authorities

Andrei Babko: To prove the expediency of having an atomic power plant or to agree with the  arguments of the EU is up to  Armenian authorities

ArmInfo. The Armenian government will find the right reasons for colleagues from European  Union regarding the demand for closure of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). This,  responding to the question of  ArmInfo, was stated  by  Andrei Babko, the Russian Trade  Representative in Armenia.  

According to the Russian Trade Representative, the issue of closing or maintaining nuclear power  plants should be resolved at the  expert level. "It's impossible to just close the nuclear power  plant, because the EU demands it. It's impossible." What will you stay with? "Babko asks. In any  case, according to the trade representative, the issue of the closure of the nuclear power plant in  Metsamor is within the competence of the Armenian government and it will negotiate with the  EU. To prove the expediency of having an atomic power station or to agree with the arguments  of the EU, the case of the Armenian authorities, he said.

At this stage, as the expert reminded, the process of modernization of the unit of the Armenian  NPP is being implemented in order to extend the period of its operation. Russia has already  provided Armenia with a loan of $ 270 and $ 30 million of grant funds for this. In addition, there  is a second project, not yet supported by investments - the construction of a new nuclear power  plant in Armenia. 

"Everyone understands that everything has its terms, including the operation of the nuclear  power plant, but believe me, the extension of the second power unit's lifetime is safe and after,  when the investment is found, a new station will be built," he said. At the same time, as for  today Andrei Babko refrained from answering the question whether the Russian side will invest in  the construction of a new nuclear power plant. "And so many colleagues in Armenia say that  Russia has gone too far into Armenia with its investments, enterprises - we do not need it.  Everything should be done accurately, as the Armenian economy requires. If Armenia needs an  NPP, let's consider, we need investments, let's will consider investments, "he said.

Meanwhile  Andrei Babko once again stressed  that nuclear energy is the cheapest and safest.  The Russian "Rosatom", he noted, is building many nuclear power plants around the world. "If  they were bad and dangerous, different countries would not build nuclear power plants," he said. At the same time, referring to the extent to which Armenia is advisable to build a new nuclear  power plant, Andrei Babko noted that in principle, the republic - an energy-rich country - is a  mass of HPPs, stations that can operate on the supplied gas. Nevertheless, according to Babko,  after building Iran-Armenia Iran, more electricity will be required. "Armenia, being an energy- rich country, has a perspective on electricity export, in this respect Armenia is interested in  having a nuclear power plant," he concluded.

It should be noted that on November 24 Armenia signed an agreement with the EU on Armenia's  comprehensive and expanded partnership with the European Union. Earlier, the draft of the  Armenia-EU framework agreement was published, where, in the part of the agreement on the  topic of nuclear safety, it is important to observe 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 for the closure of 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 Christea 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. In December 2014, an Agreement was signed between the Government of the Russian  Federation and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on cooperation in extending the life  of the power unit No. 2 of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant. In February 2015, an agreement was signed on granting an export loan to finance the work to  extend the life of the ANPP. In June 2015, a contract was signed between Rusatom Service JSC  and "AAEK" CJSC for the performance of works, supplies and services for the extension of the life  of the power unit of the 2nd nuclear power plant.

Rusatom Service JSC  is included in the electric power division of the State Corporation of  Rosatom. The company provides foreign NPPs with WWER a full range of services and supplies  needed to ensure operation and repair. The company is present in almost all countries with  operating NPPs with WWER outside of Russia. In the markets of China, Iran, Bulgaria and  Armenia. Rusatom Service JSC occupies a leading position, being the general contractor for the  extension of the service life, the implementation of preventive maintenance and upgrading of the  equipment of the VVER NPP. In foreign markets, Rusatom Service JSC has formed a portfolio of  orders worth about $ 500 million.

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